Gerard Pique says Barcelona are prepared to lose Xavi in the summer as reports link the midfielder with a move to Qatar.
Sam Allardyce has admitted he is finding it tricky to bring in the defensive reinforcements he believes West Ham need this month.
The Hammers manager has made no secret of his desire to bring in new defensive players due to the toll injuries have taken on his side.
Allardyce is looking abroad in search of a short-term solution, with the quota of domestic loans taken up by Marouane Chamakh and Andy Carroll.
Moves for Dnipro's Samuel Inkoom and Nancy defender Massadio Haidara were ruled out, with Allardyce revealing a permanent addition is only likely if a player was in the last six months of their contract.
"We're not making as good progress as I would have liked," the West Ham boss said.
"It has been hugely frustrating.
"We've been trying in the whole of the window to try and bring in a
defender, but not been able to clinch a deal yet.
"That is probably because we have been looking for a short-term deal in loans, as in terms of not permanent deals.
"I think at this stage of the window everybody wants to, if they are going to release a player, let him go on a permanent basis, not on a short-term loan basis.
"I think that will probably change as the window gets closer to closing and hopefully we will be more successful in our plight to get a defender in at that stage."
The need for defensive cover is heightened by noises of discontent coming from summer signing Alou Diarra.
The 31-year-old defensive midfielder, who can also play centre-back, has struggled with injury since arriving from Marseille, making just five appearances in all competitions.
The lack of first-team opportunities has led Diarra to vent his frustrations in L'Equipe, saying he has wasted his time at the east Londoners.
"Wasted four months of what? My time or his? He has been injured for three months," Allardyce said.
"He has let his frustrations out in his home country, which often happens.
"Someone has got hold of him and asked to do an article. He has done the article and has aired some of the frustrations of not playing on a regular basis.
"When he knocks on the door and comes to see me, we'll sort him out as quickly as we can. I haven't got a problem with it."
Diarra has been involved more regularly since the turn of the year, but Allardyce may now choose to drop him from the squad for Wednesday's trip to Arsenal.
The match was originally scheduled for Boxing Day but was called off due to the threat of a tube strike.
"I think if we get a performance and a result on Wednesday night then we'll be very, very happy," Allardyce said.
"We are playing this game this week and generally everybody wanted to play on Boxing Day.
"Everybody loves to play on Boxing Day and looks forward to it. It is a tradition in this country but it was beyond our control."