By Joe Ellis

17th Jun, 2022 | 3:10pm

West Ham United could have to pay £70million to sign James Ward-Prowse

West Ham United may have to fork out up to £70million if they want to sign James Ward-Prowse this summer, according to Claret and Hugh.

The Southampton free-kick specialist signed a new deal on the South Coast just last summer which means he is contracted to the Saints for another four seasons.

But that might not stop the England international from leaving if a big bid is tabled to try and secure his signature by another Premier League side.

Hammers manager David Moyes sees Ward-Prowse as a key target for this summer’s transfer window with only Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek as contracted central midfielders at the London Stadium.

Conor Coventry could be promoted to the senior side to replace the retired Mark Noble but the Irons still need to find a backup who can take the place of Alex Kral after his loan expires.


Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

As good as Ward-Prowse is from dead-ball situations, his game does seem to lack the star quality that would make him worth his £70million asking price.

His goals from free-kicks look great on a YouTube compilation but when you really analyse his all-around game, it is not that much different or better to Soucek’s.

He is levels below where Rice has been for a couple of years now and he would have to really challenge Soucek to get into the side ahead of him so why should we splash such a large amount of money to sign him?

We should be thinking much smarter than this and find a young, up-and-coming midfielder who we could sign for £50million less or even cheaper that we can have learn from Rice and Soucek for a year or two before introducing him to the first team.

Ward-Prowse would be nothing but a fancy signing to get the nation’s media onside as their darling gets all the attention so we need to avoid spending all that cash until we found someone who is genuinely worth it.

In other West Ham news, we have already rejected a Championship team’s approach for one of our defenders who played just once last season.

Be sure to follow West Ham Zone on Facebook for 24/7 updates on the Hammers plus more exclusive interviews with Frank McAvennie.