West Ham have reportedly turned down the chance to sign Yves Bissouma in order to prioritise the signing of James Ward-Prowse.
Players being offered to one club or another is part and parcel of the transfer window. Indeed, agents are keen on getting the best possible move for their stars.
That seems to be the case with Bissouma this summer. The Mali international has been touted with a move for some time, with a host of clubs tracking him.
The Hammers have been linked with multiple players in his position. In fact, they reportedly attempted to sign Kalvin Phillips in January, and continue to be linked with him.
However, it is another Premier League midfielder that David Moyes now seems to have his sights fixed on. Southampton captain Ward-Prowse is reportedly Moyes’ priority for the midfield position.
Tomas Soucek’s future is up in the air, so bringing in reinforcements will be key.
The Czech midfielder has cropped up time after time with goals from the midfield. Replicating his contributions in front of goal will be a big thing for Moyes to attempt to do, should he leave.
That may be why the Hammers are prioritising Ward-Prowse over Bissouma.
The latter is seen as more of a defensive-minded player, used to sitting just ahead of the back four.
Ward-Prowse over Bissouma a good call
The decision by West Ham to throw all of their eggs in Ward-Prowse’s basket makes sense.
The Saints skipper scored 11 goals and provided eight assists in all competitions last season. Indeed, he could bring more goals to the side, and fill the role that Soucek leaves, should he move away from the club.
Ward-Prowse is definitely more attack minded than Bissouma, who scored just two goals last season.
Furthermore, Ward-Prowse would compliment Declan Rice well in the Hammers midfield. The pair are both capable of staying back when needed, but can also provide a good deal of attacking threat.
West Ham could add more quality to their side, should they sign Ward-Prowse. However, he has a lengthy contract as Southampton, and has only ever played there, so prising him away could be tough.
The pull of European football and fighting for a top-four spot could well help West Ham’s cause, though.