West Ham 'targeting a ex-Premier League flop to replace Declan Rice'

West Ham ‘identify former Premier League flop to replace Declan Rice’ if he leaves in the summer with the Hammers feeling the midfielder ‘would fit in back in England’ after revitalising his career aboard

  • West Ham have identified their replacement for club skipper Declan Rice
  • The star midfielder is expected to leave for a new team in the summer
  • A former Arsenal star could be brought back to London to fill the midfield void 

West Ham are ‘considering a former Arsenal midfielder to be Declan Rice’s replacement’ should he leave the club in the summer.

Rice, who helped lead the Hammers to a 1-0 victory over Manchester United on Sunday, is expected to be snatched up by one of the Premier League giants in the upcoming transfer market.

The England international’s existing deal has just a year left to run, with the option to activate another year on top, but West Ham will likely want to cash in on their most valued player amid interest from Arsenal, Manchester United, and Newcastle.

West Ham are expected to demand at least £100million for their defensive midfielder who has been influential to helping David Moyes’ side ward off relegation.

His departure would leave Moyes and his backroom staff with a gaping midfield hole to fill, and they have reportedly already identified the midfielder they believe can take over from Rice.

West Ham have reportedly identified a replacement for Declan Rice who is expected to leave the club in the summer

David Moyes apparently views a former Premier League flop as the man for the job

Matteo Guendouzi is currently operating in a similar role to Rice at Ligue 1 outfit Marseille, but could be tempted by a move back to London and the Premier League, according to The Athletic.

The 24-year-old made 82 appearances for Arsenal during a three-year spell where he won the FA Cup before being shipped out on separate loan spells before eventually being sold on a permanent deal.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta viewed Guendouzi as surplus to requirements as the Spaniard sought to overhaul his midfield while he shaped his own team.

The Frenchman has since thrived since moving back to his homeland and has recorded five goals and five assists this season as Marseille try to make a push to qualify for the Champions League places.

West Ham apparently believe that Guendouzi would fit in well back in England and have earmarked the midfielder for a potential move to the London stadium.

The midfielder is currently playing for Ligue 1 side Marseille and has impressed upon his return to France

Former Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi is apparently wanted by West Ham in the summer

Should he make the switch then the Hammers would be adding another international star to their growing team of talent with Guendouzi a regular fixture in the French national team.

He was part of Didier Deschamps’s side that lost last year’s World Cup final to Argentina and made one appearance at the competition in Qatar.

Guendouzi has garnered a hot-headed reputation and previously fell out with Arteta after taunting Brighton players over their salary compared to his then £40k-per-week Arsenal wage.

He then further rattled his team-mates upon joining Marseille as it was alleged some stars were ‘fed up’ with his approach to working.

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