West Ham United have been tipped by Noel Whelan to pursue the signature of Rangers left-back Calvin Bassey in the summer transfer window.
While speaking with Football Insider, former Leeds United striker Whelan claimed the Irons might look to test the Gers’ resolve after Steven Gerrard identified the 21-year-old as one of five players who recently breached Covid-19 regulations.
The Ibrox head coach stated that he felt “personally let-down” by the group of players, who attended a house party just days before Thursday night’s Europa League Last 32 tie against Royal Antwerp.
It has left the futures of the quintet uncertain less than a year after West Ham had a bid rejected for Bassey, who went on to join Rangers in the summer for a compensatory fee of just £300,000 when he quit Leicester City.
Bassey is understood to be devastated and deeply sorry for his actions and is desperate to save his Rangers career, yet Whelan believes West Ham will be keeping a keen eye on the situation.
“West Ham might think to test the water in the summer just in case the club do want to move him on,” he said.
“It is a tough one because when you make a mistake, everyone jumps on you, but Stevie G isn’t daft. I think he will give him the benefit of the doubt.
“I’d presume that he wants to keep Bassey for next season. The last thing you want to do is win the Championship and then get rid of one of your best young players because he has slipped up during the previous season.
“Bassey is a talented player, so I would be surprised if Stevie G was to move him on. If anyone was to make an enquiry, I think he would squash that straight away.”
With Gerrard unhappy with the actions of his players, it may be worth West Ham testing Rangers’ resolve with an approach for Bassey, having missed out to the Premiership giants last year.
The Irons were linked with several options to add depth at left-back during the recent winter market to show that they are still keen to strengthen the position.
Bassey could prove to be a lot cheaper than those aforementioned options given how little the Gers paid Leicester for him, and West Ham clearly liked what they saw from the young full-back in Leicester’s academy to forge an approach in 2020.
With first-team opportunities not being too forthcoming north of the border for Bassey so far, with just 602 minutes of senior football to his name over 13 outings in all competitions, he may also be willing to reconsider his future.
That has partly been due to Gerrard considering Bassey as a “rough diamond”, yet Moyes could look to polish the edges of the £6k-per-week full-back that former Rangers defender Alan Hutton claims has “all the attributes”.
The 21-year-old has also demonstrated his potential in the Premiership with 1.7 successful tackles and 1.0 interceptions a game, per SofaScore, enough to rank fifth for tackles and sixth for interceptions among the West Ham squad for their Premier League efforts, per WhoScored.
So, if Rangers are open to offers for Bassey at the end of the season, Moyes should urge West Ham to launch a swoop and see if the defender would consider life in claret and blue.