It’s been a somewhat rollercoaster period for West Ham, with a heart breaking exit in the Europa League followed by an emphatic thrashing of Norwich to get our top 6 chase firmly back on track. I have since caught up with our man-in-the-know, ExWHUemployee, to discuss the current goings on at the club.
So Ex, I couldn’t start off this section without asking about the Declan Rice contract offer situation, after it was widely reported that the club had offered an 8 year deal. What can you tell us?
Unfortunately Mark I think this is going to be something that will go on all summer, with stuff being put in the media about offers to Rice. The club are of course desperate to keep him, but like I have said throughout this, Declan is only interested in the club being ambitious and matching his ambitions for success.
So whatever the wage or length of contract, its irrelevant. It’s now down to the club to make the right moves and show him that this is the club to be at to win things. My message to the fans is to take no notice of the media speculation as it’s going to be carrying on all summer. The situation hasn’t changed from where it was months ago.
It was also reported this week that we are again very keen on bring Jesse Lingard back to the club, especially as he’s out of contract this summer. Is there truth in this?
David Moyes is a huge admirer of Jesse as we all know. He did so well on loan for us and loved his time at West Ham. Yes we are definitely keen to bring him back, and I believe we will be making an offer. Lingard though will have many on the table, with a few Italian clubs in for him too.
It’s my understanding that Jesse will weigh up the offers this summer and make a move, and lets remember this is his last part of his career. The door is certainly not closed on us signing Lingard, but at this stage it’s a case of whether we can offer him a decent enough deal to accept.
On transfers then, I wanted to ask your thoughts on the relegated or teams that could go down. Are their players within those sides that you’d like to see the club go for?
Well if Leeds drop then the standout for me is Kalvin Philips, a player we hold a keen interest in. I think someone of his calibre and the fact he plays with Rice in the England squad would be a real statement signing, not to mention an amazing pairing in our midfield. Others possibly from Leeds are Raphina and also their goalkeeper Meslier, although I believe the club want to keep Areola.
With Burnley, I’d say the candidates there are McNeal, Pope, Brownhill and Weghorst. Tarkowski is someone I’ve said before we hold a keen interest in, and with him out of contract this summer, I wouldn’t be surprised if the club put in an offer.
Watford have a couple of players who I think would do a decent job for us, in both Dennis and Sarr. Although I can see a fair bit of interest in both of those players from elsewhere. Pukki I wouldn’t mind although with his age it would have a be a very reasonable price for us to be interested. Max Arrons is a decent player but I don’t think its a position we are looking to recruit for this summer.
A position we are all keen to see added to this summer is our strike force. Can you give us an update on potential targets at this stage?
As I have disclosed previously, the club have a list that is narrowing. However following our podcast, the media have since put out names that we reported that we are keen on and will be looking to make moves for. The two big names at this stage are Broja of Chelsea and Ollie Watkins. At this stage it’ll be a case on the reaction of the players and their clubs to see whether to pursue. But they’re definitely high on the list at this stage.
Another player who I have reported previously too is Lewis-Potter of Hull. We are very keen on him and I expect us to make moves to acquire his services this summer. Although moving away from your question on forwards Mark, I can confirm that the club are likely to make a move too for Rennes defender Nayef Aguerd. He is someone highly regarded by Moyes and he definitely fits the bill.
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A question I have been asked by a few fans Ex is on next seasons kit. Can you give us an update of what this may look like?
Well I have yet to actually see it as of now but I am expecting to soon. However what I can say is that the design is based on the early 90’s BAC Windows kit, with the stripes on the shoulder. It’s a retro design the club not long ago brought back out and in fact I bought one!
It’s a classic and one many of our fans will remember well. Once I get to see it properly I will provide our Patreons a full description straight away. I can also say that one of the other kits are black and the other is white with orange. Although at this stage it’s not clear which one is the away or the 3rd kit.
Lastly Ex, it’s almost time to head to Vegas for our end of season event. What are your thoughts and can you give us any news on that?
I am honestly buzzing Mark and cannot wait to get out there! It is always a pleasure going to the other side of the pond and this time too we’ll be heading to Los Angeles too, so yes very excited.
It is always such a pleasure too to meet and speak to the American fans. They are such a passionate bunch and I think people don’t realise how much knowledge and love they have for the club, it really is underestimated.
We will have some former players involved too and also I can confirm that Chesney Hawkes will be there too! He’s a top lad and massive fan, so it’ll be a really special occasion – I can’t wait!