West Ham are looking into the possibility of making Jerdy Schouten a replacement for Declan Rice in midfield, as per a report.
Rice, 23, recently rejected a third offer of a new contract from West Ham. His current deal runs until June 2024, but fears are growing that the central midfielder could leave the London Stadium in the near future.
As would be expected, the Premier League’s biggest clubs are keeping tabs on the situation. Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United are all potential suitors.
David Moyes insists it will take a bid of more than £150million to land Rice, who has won 29 caps for England so far.
This shows just how important he is for the Hammers. Such a fee would also give West Ham plenty of funds to land a replacement, as well as strengthening other areas of the pitch.
It looks set to be a busy week for Bologna, as director of football Riccardo Bigon will meet with Arsenal officials to discuss a potential deal for Aaron Hickey.
With Bigon travelling to London on Wednesday, the chief could also end up in a meeting with representatives from West Ham.
According to Sport Witness, who cite reports in Italy, Bigon will talk with West Ham about the future of Schouten.
West Ham ‘the most interested’ in Jerdy Schouten
Like Rice, his contract lasts until 2024. This means Bologna don’t have to sell this summer, if they don’t want to.
Nevertheless, the report claims the Italian side will ‘cash in’ if a Premier League club, such as West Ham, makes an offer for Schouten.
Moyes’ side are apparently ‘the most interested team’, meaning they are the frontrunners to land the 25-year-old midfielder.
Schouten came through the ranks at ADO Den Haag in his native Netherlands. Following spells at fellow Dutch teams Telstar and Excelsior, Schouten joined Bologna in July 2019.
He cost less than £2m, according to transfermarkt, and has proven to be a shrewd signing. He has featured in 13 of Bologna’s last 14 Serie A games since recovering from injury.
Schouten got on the scoresheet in Bologna’s most recent match, although they lost 4-3 to Venezia.
It may be a risk for West Ham to replace Rice with Schouten. The Dutchman has no previous experience in the Premier League.
But the same can be said for Czech duo Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal. And look how well they are doing in east London.
Due to this, it could be wise to trust West Ham’s scouting department, if the club does end up bringing Schouten in.