West Ham draw up shortlist


Three man short list being drawn up for replacements for Declan Rice

Sky Sports News have said that West Ham have drawn up a three-man shortlist of potential replacements for midfielder Declan Rice.

Hammers chairman David Sullivan has confirmed that the 24-year-old has a gentleman’s agreement to leave the London Stadium this summer, with his contract due to expire in 12 months’ time.

Rice is free to seek pastures new and fulfil hid dream of playing Champions League football after successfully leading West Ham to Europa Conference League glory in 2022-23.

Should West Ham cash in on Rice this summer, Sky Sports News reports that Fulham’s Joao Palhinha, Ajax’s Edson Alvarez and Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse have all been identified as potential targets.

Palhinha enjoyed a successful debut campaign with Fulham in 2022-23 following his £20m transfer from Sporting Lisbon last summer, starting 35 Premier League games and completing more tackles (147) than any other player in the division.

The 27-year-old still has four-years remaining on his contract at Craven Cottage and Fulham director of football Tony Khan recently confirmed that the midfielder’s deal does not include a release clause.

West Ham will hope that competing in next season’s Europa League can persuade Palhinha to leave Fulham and move to the London Stadium, although it is understood that La Liga champions Barcelona are also interested in the Portugal international.

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