It appears that West Ham United have finally begun to accept that their captain, Declan Rice, will be on the move in the summer, with them having extensively scouted one particular player to be his replacement.
Rice clearly has aspirations that the Hammers are unable to provide him with, and at 24 years of age, the England international is likely to have taken the view that he’s been loyal enough to the east Londoners and it’s time to dig his heels in and get the move he wants.
With an expected transfer fee of around the £100m mark per ESPN, West Ham certainly wouldn’t be losing out in a financial sense, though there would be pressure on whomever comes in because losing their talisman would be significant for the squad.
That player could well be Eintracht Frankfurt’s Djibril Sow.
‘Last summer, Nottingham Forest and Newcastle were close to midfielder Djibril Sow, but this time around it’s West Ham doing the chasing,’ Bundesliga expert and senior football journalist, Christian Falk, wrote in his exclusive CaughtOffside Substack.
‘The Swiss star has been watched several times by the east Londoners, most recently in Dortmund by chief scout Rob Newman himself.’
There are a few reasons why the move for Sow would make sense for the Hammers, not least financial, allowing them to spend the bulk of the Rice fee to strengthen other areas of the squad.
‘The Hammers had already inquired about Sow in the winter window, but at that time sports director Krösche put a stop to it. Eintracht are now ready to talk, and would let Sow leave for €15m,’ Falk added.
‘He’s the engine room in midfield who loves to drive his team forward – and he really wants to go to the Premier League. He joined Eintracht from Young Boys of Bern in the summer of 2019 for a fee of €14m and has played 154 competitive games for the club so far.
‘Capped 36 times by the Swiss national team, he has eight goals and 13 assists at international level. He won two league titles with Young Boys and last season’s Europa League success is the greatest of his career to date.’
If David Moyes is dispensed with at the end of the campaign, any new man in charge will likely wipe the slate clean with the first-team.
That would give Sow, were he acquired, the perfect opportunity to cement himself as the new darling of the London Stadium terraces.
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