West Ham United are set to face a hotly contested battle in their bid to bring Boubacar Kamara to the London Stadium in the summer transfer window.
That’s according to Mike McGrath’s recent report for The Telegraph, in which the journalist claimed that, with the Olympique de Marseille defensive midfielder’s contract set to expire this summer, the likes of Atletico Madrid, Leeds United and Manchester United are all contenders for the 22-year-old’s signature.
Previous reports had claimed that West Ham were also looking to secure a deal to sign the France U21 international in the January transfer window, with this interest expected to be continued in the summer.
While it is a situation that many West Ham fans would prefer to ignore, unfortunately for the London Stadium faithful, the rumours linking the club’s talismanic midfielder Declan Rice with a £120m move away from East London this summer are far from dying down.
However, while it would undoubtedly be a gutting blow to lose the “invaluable” – in the words of Teddy Sheringham – £75m-rated England international ahead of a season in which the Hammers could well be playing Champions League football, the addition of Kamara would certainly be one way to soften the loss of Rice.
Indeed, the £22.5m-rated prodigy has been imperious in marshalling the Marseille midfield since breaking into the first team back in 2017/18, earning rather extraordinary seasonal SofaScore match ratings of 6.93 in 2017/18, 6.89 in 2018/19, 7.00 in 2019/20 and 7.03 in 2020/21.
The £46k-per-week midfielder has once again been in breathtaking form over his 21 Ligue 1 appearances this season, scoring one goal and creating two big chances for his teammates, as well as making an average of 0.9 key passes, 1.2 interceptions, 1.7 tackles, one clearance, completing 57 passes and winning 4.2 duels per game.
These returns have seen the 22-year-old who Jacek Kulig dubbed “one of the most exciting talents” and “Marseille’s biggest jewel” average an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.05, ranking him as Jorge Sampaoli’s sixth-best player in the top flight of French football.
Furthermore, Boubacar’s current and former teammates also clearly believe that the defensive midfielder is destined for the very top of the professional game, with Rolando previously stating of the youngster:
“This kid is a phenomenon. When he started training with us, he was 15 years old. And from day one, I said no. But this little one is going to be a great player. He is full of quality and, above all, he works, he listens. It is out of the ordinary.”
As such, while the loss of Rice would certainly come as a major blow to David Moyes and his side, should the 58-year-old go on to seal the signing of Karama this summer, the French sensation would very much appear to be something of a dream replacement for the Englishman – especially on a free transfer.