West Ham's interest in Aaron Long hampered by work permit issues
(Photo by Ira L. Black - Corbis/Getty Images)

Despite currently having four fit centre-backs it looks like Manuel Pellegrini wants to bolster his depth even more with the addition of NY Red Bulls defender - Aaron Long.

The 26-year-old, who has a £4m release clause, was crowned as the MLS Defender Of The Year last season.

He's been also involved in six out of USA's last seven international games, including the Gold Cup.

Hammers could face tough opposition

And the very low release clause has put a host of clubs around Europe on alert. Along with West Ham, reportedly Olympique Marseille, ACF Fiorentina, Stade Rennais and Olympique de Lyonnais hold high interest in Long, who's looking to play in the Premier League the most.

But his dreams of playing in England might've been shattered already, as according to Sky Sports News, he's been denied the work permit needed to allow him to play for the Hammers, leaving a potential deal in a dead zone.

He's been described as a 'solid' defender that's good on the ball while playing the ball out of the back, but also a one that's not scared to put in a tough challenge when needed.

"What a dream it would be to play in the Premier League"

The player has recently been asked about the possibility of a move abroad and the defender was not shy to admit his interest of playing in the Premier League:

"I don't know, man. I have no idea when I'm going, where I'm going, if I'm going at all," Long told mlssoccer.com.

"All I know is that offers have come in and got rejected right now by the Red Bulls.

When asked if he'd desire such a move, he replied: "For sure", adding that he'd "rather move abroad" to take his game "to the next level".

"Obviously it’s a Premier League team that made an offer and I’m sure the same is for you guys, what a dream it would be to play in that league," he said.

"Since I was young I’ve been watching them. It would be a dream, for sure."