Arsenal transfer boost as West Ham line up England star to replace Declan Rice
WEST HAM are reportedly looking to sign James Ward-Prowse as they prepare for the post Declan Rice era.
Rice is Arsenal’s number one target as they look to strengthen their midfield this summer.
The Hammers captain has one year left on his contract at the end of the season, but the East Londoners have an option for a further 12-month extension.
According to the defaultWest Ham are looking to capitalize on Southampton’s relegation by getting rid of their captain, Ward-Prowse.
They add that coach David Moyes is a big fan of the 28-year-old set piece specialist.
West Ham, coming to terms with losing Rice in a mega-deal, want a reputable replacement for their hometown star.
They will target more than one midfielder, knowing it will be a tough task to fill the void left by Rice.
The Hammers considered a move for Ward-Prowse last summer, only to opt for Flynn Downes instead.
Ward-Prowse has managed to score eight goals in 36 Prem games this season despite his side’s poor performance.
The Portsmouth-born star joined the Saints at the age of eight and has played 407 games for them in total.
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He also played eleven caps for England under Gareth Southgate.
Moyes, 60, admitted last week the Hammers could lose £120million-rated Rice this summer.
He said: “We really hope Dec stays, that’s the biggest thing.”
“We’d love for him to be a West Ham player but we’re aware that might not be the case. That’s one of the scenarios.”
“We plan to have Dec here, but we’re also fully aware that there’s a good chance we don’t have him.”
Aside from Arsenal, Rice is also associated with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United.
The Gunners are expected to open up a midfield spot, with Granit Xhaka on the verge of a move to Bayer Leverkusen this summer.