West Ham starlet Reece Oxford could see his future away from London by the end of the summer as both Manchester clubs have declared an interest in prising the 17-year-old from the Olympic Stadium before the transfer window closes.
Oxford has long had his admirers after that stunning debut performance against Arsenal on the opening weekend of last season and it’s the blue half of Manchester which has sprung into action first after tabling a £10m bid for the young English starlet.
West Ham are in a relative position of strength as they don’t have to sell Oxford due to a lack of funds, the fact that they are reportedly set to table a £65m bid for Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez shows that issue couldn’t be any further from the case – the problem that they may have is the pulling power that City will have now that they have installed Pep Guardiola as manager.
That’s not to say working under Slaven Bilic doesn’t bring it’s own attractions, but will Oxford be won over by the step up in stature in regards to West Ham and Manchester City, and also the possibility of playing in the Champions League next season?
That said, would a move at this time – to Manchester City or United – be the right one for the West Ham youngster? Out of the two you would say that Pep Guardiola would be the more willing to blood younger players, but you do wonder if Oxford isn’t just being purchased with filling a home grown quota in mind.
Is Oxford better off staying and fighting for a place in the West Ham starting XI to aid his footballing development at a quicker pace? a move to either of the Manchester clubs could see him struggle to get anywhere near the starting XI and that could very well stunt his development in these crucial footballing years.
We only have to take Raheem Sterling as an example. Yes, Sterling is older and more experienced than Oxford, but his career has taken a notable if not decline since and you have to wonder if moving to The Etihad was the right thing to do.
On the flip side, perhaps Pep Guardiola has looked at his new squad and identified the centre of midfield as a weakness and one that he sees Oxford as the man to fix it. After City stumbled to 4th place in the Premier League last season, you could make a case for half a dozen of that starting eleven that played in their final game, as players who wouldn’t warrant a starting place on the opening day of this coming season. Oxford could very well be one of a whole host of new faces that starts against Sunderland on August 13th.
With City now putting in an official bid, will that urge Jose Mourinho in action with a counter offer and then creating a bidding war? If that were to be the case then Oxford could name his price as to what he wants to earn.
The only thing that may point against a move to United is the fact that they are still in protracted talks with Paul Pogba. If or when that £105m move goes ahead, you can’t imagine there will be too much money left in the United coffers.
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