West Ham United

West Ham United

Premier League • England

West Ham ‘unwilling’ to pay increased price tag for Declan Rice replacement who Chelsea rejected

Chelsea players Wesley Fofana and Denis Zakaria, 2023

Chelsea players Wesley Fofana and Denis Zakaria, 2023

Juventus have reportedly upped their price demands for West Ham midfield target Denis Zakaria, who spent last season on loan with Chelsea.

David Moyes is currently scouring the market for a replacement for Declan Rice and seems to have settled upon the 26-year-old as his priority.

Now, despite West Ham holding ‘positive talks’ with Juventus over Zakaria, his price tag has once again increased.

Rice is expected to complete his switch to Arsenal imminently, to the tune of £105m, which is a record sale for the Hammers.

The England international has arguably been West Ham’s most important player for several years. So, it is imperative that Moyes brings in the right replacement.

Last season, Zakaria made 11 appearances for Chelsea, scoring one goal. He put in a few good performances but was unable to tie down a regular spot in the Blues’ starting XI.

It seems Mauricio Pochettino has no intention of re-signing the Swiss star permanently this summer. This means that West Ham essentially have a free run at bringing him in.

However, while the Hammer’s negotiations for Zakaria are continuing, the deal is proving to be more expensive than expected.

READ MORE: Newcastle to stun Chelsea with ‘major attack’ for key Pochettino target as Howe eyes forward additions

Juve want €25m for Zakaria

According to Sky Sports News, Juventus have slapped a €25m (£21.3m) on Zakaria.

The midfielder joined the Italian club from Borussia Monchengladbach for £8.5m in 2022. Now, they want to make a significant profit on their investment, despite Zakaria only featuring 15 times for them.

Also, Juventus are currently in the midst of a financial crisis. So, they are trying to generate as much cash from sales as possible.

Previous reports suggested that Juventus only wanted £17m, but these latest reports represent a significant increase on that amount.

Despite this, Sky Sports maintain that West Ham’s talks with the Bianconeri remain ‘positive’ and there is a belief in both club’s camps that a deal can be struck.

However, as it stands, West Ham are ‘unwilling’ to pay £21.3m for Zakaria. Therefore, another round of negotiations will be required.

But, Juventus need cash and the Hammers need a midfielder. Therefore, it still seems likely Zakaria will be heading to the London Stadium this summer.

READ MORE: Sources: Bournemouth lead Tottenham, West Ham in race for exciting star with Alex Scott to match record Cherries