James Ward Prowse Southampton England
James Ward-Prowse Southampton

West Ham United have just tabled a bid for Saints midfielder James Ward-Prowse as they look for a replacement for Declan Rice.

The Hammers have sold Rice to Arsenal for a mammoth fee of £105 million but they will need to spend that money and bring in an apt replacement before the 1st of September. Moyes’ team are keeping tabs on Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher as well but it looks like they are testing the waters for James Ward-Prowse.

As per Daily Mail, West Ham have put in an official bid worth £25 million for the 28-year-old midfielder but there’s a very slim chance that the Saints are going to accept this offer. Southampton are expected to lose several of their big-name players this summer because all of them want to keep playing in the Premier League and JWP is also on that list. However, the Saints have valued him at around £50 million and they are refusing to budge from their demands.

A report in Football Insider is claiming that West Ham United are growing confident that a deal can be struck for Ward-Prowse which is probably why they have put in a bid of £25 million to see how the Championship side respond.

The Hammers are scouting Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher and while West Ham United are one of his admirers, teams like Brighton and Tottenham Hotspur are also keen to land the 23-year-old England midfielder.

Conor Gallagher or James Ward-Prowse: Who’s a better buy?

James Ward-Prowse has come up through Southampton’s academy and he’s played close to 350 Premier League games for the Saints. The midfielder has been a one-club man so far but now he’s willing to move out because he wishes to remain in the top tier next season.

£25 million will not be enough to sign the 28-year-old, that’s for sure, but if the Hammers are confident of landing him then a deal should be struck for around £40-45 million. The Saints will need money to rebuild their squad so if they are getting this much for JWP then they will probably let him leave.

Southampton boss Russell Martin has admitted that it’s a nightmare making sure that everyone in his squad gets game time, thereby hinting that players like Livramento, Lavia and Ward-Prowse could be on their way out.

He recently said: “We’re a club that has been relegated and has a lot of talent that people are attracted to, but we’ll prepare as if they will be here because we have to.

“There’s no guarantee that anyone will leave, it’s a lot of work with 27 players or whatever, but we’ll give everyone a chance to get on the pitch.”

West Ham United have been in talks with Southampton for over a week which means their interest is genuine but in the best-case scenario, the Hammers can afford to bring in both James Ward-Prowse and Conor Gallagher.

The London side have bagged more than £100 million from Rice’s transfer so they can easily spend around £85-90 million on two replacements. Honestly speaking, Moyes won’t risk signing just Gallagher because the 23-year-old is yet to shine at the top level.

Despite, Pochettino’s liking towards Gallagher, Chelsea are planning to sell him but the midfielder has played just 45 games for the Blues’ senior team. It’s highly unlikely that Conor Gallagher can become the direct replacement for Declan Rice all by himself but if Moyes can bring him in along with James Ward-Prowse then it will be the perfect bit of business for West Ham United.

Gallagher won’t mind playing in tandem with JWP for one or two seasons and they slowly take over as the main defensive/central midfielder at the London Stadium.