West Ham are reportedly keen on signing midfielder Ross Barkley from London rivals Chelsea this summer.
The 27-year-old spent the past season on loan with Aston Villa after being frozen out at Stamford Bridge, and it looks inevitable that he will be sold. A sale to Villa will not be happening, however, after Barkley scored just three goals in 27 league appearances for Dean Smith’s men.
The midfielder’s career has been in decline since he decided to quit Everton for Chelsea in January 2018.
Barkley was once regarded as one of the hottest properties in English football. However, he failed to make England’s 2018 World Cup squad and never had a hope of winning in place for the upcoming Euros.
The feeling is that David Moyes could get the best out of Barkley. The Hammers boss was in charge at Everton when Barkley broke into the first-team picture.
The midfielder would also fill a need for West Ham, with loan sensation Jesse Lingard set to return to Manchester United this summer.
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Real Madrid, PSG and Juventus could be involved in a three-way transfer deal, while Kieran Tripper could be on his way to Man Utd and West HJam and Southampton are being linked with Junior Firpo.
Having revived the career of Lingard, who could yet earn a late call up to the England squad for the Euros, Moyes could do likewise with Barkley.
Another player being linked with the Hammers is Liverpool star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. A shock move for former Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez could also be on the cards, in what could be a busy summer of business at the London Stadium.
Mount takes cheeky dig at Rice
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s Mason Mount has taken a friendly dig at England team-mate Declan Rice by refusing to give him a place in his FIFA Ultimate Team.
The duo are good friends and will line up for England at this summer’s European Championship. They were both in the Chelsea youth teams before Rice defected to West Ham United. And the banter is flying about ahead of the summer showpiece.
And now Mount has twisted the knife in further. The Blues star, a keen gamer, has joined Combat Gaming as brand ambassador.
And he risked the wrath of his great friend by refusing to name him among the game’s elite.
“Dec would not be in my FIFA Ultimate Team. He would understand it,” he said. “It’s got some icons in. I feel his card at the moment is not going to fit in my team. He’d be on the bench, or maybe the reserves.”
And he further joked that Rice might just make his Call of Duty crew.
“My squad for the next Combat tournament for the England team? Mingsy in there, Tyrone Mings, he’s a gamer,” he added. “And I’d have Dec in there, because he’s been in and around it, been in tournaments and played big players in a tournament. I feel like he’d know how to step up.”