It seems to be a foregone conclusion that West Ham will let their captain and talisman, Declan Rice, leave at the end of this season if a good enough offer comes in, with one journalist suggesting that Arsenal could use one of their highly-rated stars as bait to help conclude a deal.
Rice is coveted by a number of Premier League clubs, but as Sky Sports note, the Hammers aren’t going to be bullied and will only accept a bid of £120m from a Champions League club or £100m if a player is included.
That would be, by a distance, a new British record for any player, though it won’t necessarily put off those teams that believe he will make a difference to them.
The Gunners are one of the clubs that have consistently been linked with them, and Dean Jones, speaking to Give Me Sport, believes that there may be a chance of Folarin Balogun being offered to the east Londoners in part exchange.
Folarin Balogun celebrates a goal for Reims
“There could be some sense in a player going in the other direction if Arsenal want to strike a deal,” he said.
“We’ll have to wait to see what happens with Balogun, but he seems to be ready to challenge for regular Premier League football and if West Ham like what they see on that front, then maybe this could become an option that’s put forward along with some cash.”
The 21-year-old American has been on loan at Reims, where he’s scored 19 goals and provided two assists in 34 games for the French side according to WhoScored.
That more than one-in-two ratio is likely to be something that would appeal to a West Ham side that haven’t been too prolific in front of goal during the 2022/23 campaign.