Reports by Football Insider earlier this week claimed that Manchester United are keeping tabs on Tomas Soucek, but West Ham should repeat their genius Declan Rice move to fend off the interest in their Czech Republic superstar.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Red Devils are thought to be among an array of top European sides keeping a close eye on the midfielder, as Soucek continues to enjoy a remarkable campaign at the London Stadium.
The Old Trafford natives view the 25-year-old as a potential summer target should they first wrap up a deal for a new centre-half, with defensive reinforcements the main priority.
West Ham are braced for bids coming their way at the end of the season for Soucek, who has previously been linked with a potential move to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.
Yet Irons insider Claret and Hugh believe there are no plans actively in place to negotiate the sale of Soucek, as it would take an astronomical offer that blows the doors off the London Stadium for the Hammers to part with the towering 6 ft 3 box-to-box menace.
Soucek is not only one of the first names on David Moyes’ teamsheets but he is also West Ham’s top-scorer across all competitions with eight goals, three more than anyone else currently in east London.
The former Slavia Prague star’s late runs into the box frequently cause opposing sides problems as he is able to ghost in often unchallenged, having perfectly pre-empted the path of the ball.
It is not only goals that he offers, either, as the £19m summer capture – now valued by TransferMarkt at £27m – provides the second-most successful tackles (2) a game in the Premier League for West Ham and wins by far the most aerial duels (6), with Michail Antonio (2.7) second after Sebastien Haller’s (4.2) winter exit, per WhoScored.
West Ham will absolutely have to do all they can to retain Soucek in the summer having discovered a glistening diamond in the rough, but should take confidence in doing so after fending off Frank Lampard’s relentless pursuits with Chelsea for Rice in the last off-season.
Lampard’s eagerness for the Stamford Bridge natives to lure Rice back to south west London was seen as one of the deciding factors that led to his sacking, having pushed the Blues to sign Rice again this January despite the club’s reservations of re-signing a player they released from the academy as a teenager.
The Hammers told Chelsea they would only sell Rice for £80m and never saw a formal offer in the summer market as a result, per The Sun, and setting a similar asking price to price Manchester United et al out of signing Soucek may be needed so that he remains in claret and blue for the 2021/22 season.
The Red Devils have shown throughout the years that they will refuse to sign anyone for over the odds, having looked away from Sean Longstaff when Newcastle demanded £50m and turned their back on Jadon Sancho when Borussia Dortmund requested €120m (£108m).
AND in other news, West Ham may face added competition to sign a highly-rated 6 ft 7 titan…