By Saikat Mandal

22nd Jun, 2022 | 10:10pm

Journalist: West Ham United could struggle to sign James Ward-Prowse

West Ham could struggle to sign Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse this summer, according to journalist Dean Jones.

Speaking to Give Me Sport, the former Bleacher Report reporter said that the Hammers do retain a strong interest in the 27-year-old midfielder but they will have to pay over the odds for his signature.

The Hammers have already signed Nayef Aguerd, and they are looking to bolster their midfield this summer.

“There is definite interest in James Ward-Prowse, but it’s not particularly likely,” said Jones to Give Me Sport.

“Saints just don’t want to let this guy go and, when that’s the case, you’ve got to pay over the odds to get them out of that club. You don’t normally see West Ham actually doing that. You hear of them entertaining the idea and you hear of them chasing these players, but then they suddenly look elsewhere and sign somebody else for a third of the price.

“There’s no doubt that they like James Ward-Prowse, but I’m not sure that, at this moment in time, they see it as a signing that they’re getting excited about.”

Cracking signing

Bolstering the midfield is a priority for David Moyes this summer.

Mark Noble has retired and the club need to fill his void. Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek are expected to stay put, but the Hammers need depth in midfield.

Moyes is a big fan of the England international who is arguably one of the best free-kick takers in the league at the moment.

He has got a great passing range and is a leader on the pitch. He would be a great signing for any club, let alone West Ham.

However, Southampton are desperate to keep hold of their star player, and they have slapped a £75m price tag [The Daily Mail] on him, which is a bit too much.

With the Hammers needing to sign at least five to six players this summer, it looks difficult at the moment that they would be willing to pay anything over £70m for Ward-Prowse.