West Ham have not been put off by Juventus’ significant asking price for midfielder Weston McKennie, according to reports.
The 23-year-old spent time in Dallas’ academy before crossing the Atlantic to join Schalke back in August 2016. He gained promotion to their senior team the following year and went on to make 91 appearances for the German side, scoring five goals.
The USA international’s impressive performances alerted scouts at Juventus. They snapped McKennie up in 2020, initially on loan, before making his transfer permanent for €18.5million last year.
McKennie remains a regular starter in Turin, scoring in recent league defeats to Sassuolo and Hellas Verona. However, returning manager Max Allegri is keen to engineer a squad overhaul next year.
As a result, McKennie could be sold to a Premier League club alongside Newcastle-linked Aaron Ramsey.
Tottenham are leading the race for the central midfielder, with Italian boss Antonio Conte a big fan. He wants McKennie to compete with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Oliver Skipp for a starting spot in north London.
However, West Ham are on hand to rival Spurs. David Moyes is keen for midfield recruits as part of his plan to achieve Champions League qualification and Europa League success.
Sport Witness, citing reports in the Italian media, state that the Irons have been quoted at between €30m-35m for McKennie. They are ‘not scared’ by the sum and are preparing to make the player one of their biggest ever signings.
Moyes’ side are boosted by the recent investment from Daniel Kretinsky. The Czech billionaire’s £150m payment has wiped off their debts, freeing the club to spend big in January.
A transfer now depends on who acts first, West Ham or Spurs. Juve are willing to finalise a deal in the next few weeks. They will not stand in McKennie’s way, should the American request a move.
Transfer joy for West Ham supporters
Meanwhile, there is good news for West Ham fans as Eurosport reporter Dean Jones says Declan Rice is likely to stay.
The Englishman, 22, has been a long-term target for both Chelsea and Man Utd. Man City are also keeping tabs on him as they look to replace Fernandinho.
But Jones thinks the time for a transfer has gone. “I’d be very, very surprised if he left in the next year or so now,” he told GiveMeSport.
“I think that the tide turned really and his big moment passed. Now he is fully focused on what he is doing at West Ham.”