West Ham should sell Cheikhou Kouyate to Newcastle to boost Jonjo Shelvey hopes

According to Sky Sports, West Ham United are understood to be open to offers for midfielders Cheikhou Kouyate and Pedro Obiang this summer, and the Irons should look to offload the former to Newcastle United to help boost their hopes of signing Jonjo Shelvey.

What’s the word, then?

Cheikhou Kouyate in action for West Ham United

Well, one of the east London outfit’s main weaknesses last term was through the middle of the park as they ended the campaign with the joint-worst defensive record in the Premier League, with the likes of Kouyate and Mark Noble struggling, while Obiang missed most of 2018 through injury.

Sky Sports report that the Irons have already rejected bids for the Spaniard from Fiorentina and Atalanta, while they are said to value Senegal international Kouyate at £10m.

The arrival of Jack Wilshere at the London Stadium this week has pushed the 28-year-old further down the pecking order, and now West Ham must find a buyer for him.

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Why should they offer him to Newcastle?

Well, the Magpies may have added Ki Sung-Yueng to their midfield options this summer, but the likely departure of Mikel Merino could mean that Rafa Benitez is in the market for another body in the centre of the park.

While Kouyate struggled in particular last term, he has shown in the past what an effective box-to-box midfielder he can be, and Benitez could well see him as a long-term replacement for compatriot Mo Diame given the energy levels he clearly possesses.

The 28-year-old would likely thrive in the Spaniard’s organised and regimented tactics, while his £10m price tag would be well within their budget.

Should West Ham, whose reported midfield target would be ten times better than Kouyate, convince Newcastle to swoop for the African ace, it would surely boost their chances of bringing Shelvey back to London – something they wanted to do during the January transfer window.