The Midlands outfit are believed to be on the hunt for a new midfield addition this summer, despite having already brought in Marseille’s Boubacar Kamara, with recent weeks seeing the Hammers man emerge as a potential target.
The suggestion is that the Czech international – who could cost in the region of around £40m – could be moved on by David Moyes and co this summer, with negotiations having hit an impasse regarding a contract extension for the 27-year-old.
Journalist Pete O’Rourke has now delivered his verdict on the situation in an interview with Football FanCast, revealing that Villa are “monitoring” the 52-cap gem: “I think obviously Villa and a number of clubs will be monitoring Soucek’s contract situation at West Ham. He’s still seemingly no nearer to signing a new deal.”
He went on to state that: “West Ham might have a decision to make on Soucek’s future if he’s not going to sign a new deal”, before adding, however, that: “I’m sure West Ham will be hoping to make a breakthrough in negotiations with the Czech Republic international as he’s been such a key player for David Moyes over the last couple of seasons.”
With the 6 foot 4 giant’s future still clearly up in the air, it could be a perfect time for sporting director Johan Lange to pounce, particularly amid reports that fellow target Konrad Laimer could well be set to join Bayern Munich this summer.
The versatile, RB Leipzig ace – who has drawn comparisons to Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante – had emerged as a potential option for the Villans of late, although it would seem that Steven Gerrard will be forced to look for alternatives to the Austrian international.
The Liverpool legend could well have found an ideal man to sign instead of the 25-year-old, however, in the form of Soucek, with the two men having been noted as similar players according to Football Transfers.
While Laimer is perhaps a more front-foot, relentless midfield presence – ranking in the top 1% for pressures made among those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues – the West Ham man is also a defensive asset in his own right, ranking in the top 1% for clearances made and the top 2% for aerial duels won.
Equally, the latter man also provides perhaps a greater goal threat, having netted 18 league goals over the past two-and-a-half seasons at the London Stadium, while the Salzburg-born menace has only netted seven league goals during his five-year spell in the Bundesliga.
Throw in the fact that Soucek already has that vital Premier League experience and it could well prove something of a blessing in disguise if their failure to land Laimer leads to the signing of the former Slavia Prague brute, with the £40.5m-rated ace offering a destructive and devastating presence at both ends of the pitch.
The £47k-per-week star may still have two years, plus the option of a one-year extension, on his current deal with the Hammers, although the signs are that an exit could well be on the cards sooner rather than later, allowing Gerrard and co the chance to strike.