Jon Harley must be prepared to make a sizeable financial sacrifice if he wants to kick-start his career and become a permanent West Ham player before the end of the season.
Harley is on loan at Upton Park from Fulham until the middle of next month.
West Ham manager Alan Pardew is keen to sign the former Chelsea defender or a permanent deal but said today: “We will have to see what the deal looks like from our perspective.
“He went to Fulham from Chelsea for £3.5million and his deal was equivalent to that.
“He knows that, if he wants to play for us in the First Division, there needs to be an adjustment. His agent needs to know that as well.
“Whatever happens though, I am not prepared to put this club in jeopardy. That is my responsibility and I will not sign players on huge contracts and leave this club in a big mess.”
Harley is keen to stay at West Ham and said: “Ideally I want to be playing for them in the Premier League. Apart from a few months, it has been two-and a-half years of nothing for me.
“I left Chelsea because there were two full-backs, Graeme Le Saux and Celestine Babayaro, ahead of me. Jean Tigana signed me for Fulham but then never played me. I am 24 now and haven’t played as many Premier League matches as I should have done. Ideally I want to do that with West Ham and I think we can do it.”