The players set to leave West Ham United this summer – and four more who could join them
The players who could be on their way out of the London Stadium this summer, and what their departures mean for West Ham United.
A first major title in 43 years means there were plenty of big smiles and blowing bubbles around the London Stadium by the end of May – but we’re already into the thick of the transfer window and that means it’s all business for David Moyes and the backroom staff.
Their star man is all set to leave, two veteran players are out of contract, and the big-money vultures are circling another couple of key players as Moyes’ men face some tough decisions in the coming weeks. Three players are all but out of the club, and a few more may well follow – let’s look at who’s heading out the exit door and what their departures might mean for the Hammers.
Owner David Sullivan started the off-season by saying that Rice was “99%” certain to leave, and with Arsenal making a bid worth up to £105m, you can add an extra 0.9% onto that. With Manchester City reportedly dropping out of the race as the price spirals, we’re probably at the point where negotiations reach a quick conclusion and West Ham will have to begin life without their very best player.
There will be no replacing Rice – not really, and not in full. Another combative midfielder who could replicate Rice’s energy in both halves of the field will be welcome, of course, but whoever comes in will inevitably be a step down in terms of class and quality. The huge transfer fee, of course, means plenty of cash to invest across the squad, so this could still be a big net positive for a side gearing up for another year of European football.
Leaving: Manuel Lanzini
A fan favourite since arriving eight years ago, the Argentine attacking midfielder is out of contract and won’t be offered a new deal. Two club goal of the season awards and the 2016/17 ‘Hammer of the Year’ runner-up, apparently, but the 30-year-old only played ten times in the Premier League over the course of the latest campaign, and his race is run. In truth, the hole he leaves will be in hearts more than it will be on the pitch – Moyes has already moved on, even if takes a few nostalgic fans a little longer to do so.
A frustrating spell in east London looks set to come to a pretty quick conclusion – the Italian striker is close to agreeing a quick return to Serie A, with Roma frontrunners but Juventus and both Milan sides supposedly in the mix.
Scamacca looked periodically impressive but ultimately only scored three league goals before the injury gods struck and raddled the second half of his season. No deal is done yet but, as with Rice, the odds on his remaining with the Hammers are vanishingly thin. It means another centre-forward is necessary this summer, another roll of the dice in the search of a reliable goalscorer with Danny Ings and Michail Antonio only advancing in years.