West Ham pull back from negotiations for James Ward-Prowse

The iconic Saints midfielder is one of a number of players currently based at St. Mary’s Stadium that could depart the south coast in the wake of the club dropping down to the Championship.

A summer of transfer struggles looks set to continue for Europa Conference League winners West Ham United after the Hammers have officially pulled back from the negotiating table for Southampton captain and talismanic midfielder James Ward-Prowse.

Per reports from Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol, David Moyes’ outfit could very well miss out on adding a key midfield replacement in the wake of the sale of Declan Rice to Arsenal last month after the London-based outfit feel as though Saints’negotiating position is still too high despite the club being relegated to the Championship.

As such, West Ham will now look elsewhere to source a solution for the position across a summer that has seen the club also lose Arthur Masuaku as well as Manuel Lanzini, with Gianluca Scamacca and Nikola Vlasić also garnering serious interest from Serie A clubs.

But for former West Ham striker Frank McAvennie, Ward-Prowse falls well short of the type of player the club should be looking to replace Rice with despite their attempts to lure the Portsmouth-born midfielder to the capital.

When speaking to West Ham Zone, Frank McAvennie stated: “I don’t think he is a good replacement for Rice. He’s a different kind of player, isn’t he? He’s great for free-kicks and dead balls, but he doesn’t have that dynamic that Declan had. It’s a strange one. He’s a decent player, but get someone else in there with Lucas Paqueta. I don’t know if Flynn Downes is good enough.”

“I don’t know if Ward-Prowse would be. He might prove me wrong. Could he play in there? I think we need somebody to sit because Paqueta likes to get forward, he wants that freedom.”

The Hammers have also been linked with interest in Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher, a player who certainly offers far more dynamism in the center of the park when compared to Ward-Prowse, but the English international and Cobham Academy product is reportedly uninterested in moving away from Stamford Bridge this summer despite the relative uncertainty that surrounds his future.

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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