Kevin Nolan has admitted he tried to persuade Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott to sign for West Ham during Tuesday night's Capital One Cup semi-final clash at Upton Park.
Lescott played a key part in Manchester City's title-winning side two years ago, but he has struggled to gain a regular first-team spot ever since.
The 31-year-old has started just seven Barclays Premier League matches this term and, as a result, has not made one England squad throughout the current campaign.
Lescott is not the only one who knows he must start playing regular first-team football before the end of the season if he is to have a chance of making Roy Hodgson's World Cup squad.
While Mohamed Diame was receiving treatment on an injury during City's 3-0 win at West Ham on Tuesday, Nolan - along with team-mate Carlton Cole - exchanged banter with Lescott and the West Ham skipper revealed exactly what he was up to after the match.
"I was trying to tell him to come and help us out," said Nolan, whose friendly exchange with Lescott was picked up by the television cameras.
"I saw Joleon and I know he has been heavily linked with us and I was trying to persuade him (to come to West Ham) because he is a top-quality player. That would only make us stronger."
It remains to be seen whether Lescott, who is out of contract this summer, would be interested in a move from a title contender to Upton Park, though.
Nolan jested that the initial signs were not good.
"When I said that to him, he laughed and said: 'You're joking aren't you?'" the former Bolton midfielder joked.
"I'm only winding you up," he added. "He didn't really say that, but we did have a little bit of laughter and a giggle."
There was not much laughter among the home support at Upton Park on Tuesday as City subjected West Ham to another beating to book their place in the Capital One Cup final.
The only crumb of comfort for the beleaguered Sam Allardyce was that City only put three unanswered goals past his side this time, rather than the six from the opening leg.
The West Ham manager turned the air blue after the 9-0 aggregate defeat when asked what the chances were of signing new players before the transfer window shut.
Allardyce's frustration is understandable. Everton defender Johnny Heitinga rejected a move to West Ham earlier this month.
This week Monaco striker Lacina Traore chose Everton over West Ham, while the east London club also missed out on target Ishak Belfodil from AC Milan.
Nolan is not bothered about missing out on those signings, however, and he insists anyone who comes in over the next fortnight must be fully committed to dragging West Ham out of the relegation zone.
"We don't want those players (who turned us down), simple as," Nolan said.
"I don't want to play with a player who gets his head turned easily or doesn't fancy the challenge.
"We only want players who are going to go out there and put their hand on their heart and say: "I am here for the club". We want them to be here. If you don't want to be here then don't bother."
Unlike West Ham, City have no need at all to bring in new signings this month.
Their strength in depth was shown at Upton Park when Marcos Lopes, an 18-year-old Portuguese forward, set up City's first two goals and was named man of the match for a scintillating display in what was just his second start.
The buoyant teenager reckons City can go on and claim an unprecedented quadruple this season.
"It would be good if we won all of these trophies and our team is capable of doing this," Lopes said.
"I don't know why it has never been done before, but we have enough quality in this team and we can make things happen that have never been done before."