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West Ham eye former Arsenal midfielder as Declan Rice replacement

West Ham eye former Arsenal midfielder as Declan Rice replacement
Image Credit: West Ham United

It has been reported that West Ham United are looking for a replacement for Declan Rice, whose future with the club is uncertain.

The Athletic suggests that former Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi is a strong contender for the position.

Guendouzi currently plays for Marseille in Ligue 1 and has resurrected his career after a lackluster spell at Arsenal.

He has contributed five goals and five assists in the current season, helping his team push for a spot in the Champions League.

Interest from Arsenal, Manchester United, and Newcastle has been growing for Rice, and West Ham could demand a substantial fee of over £100 million for the English international. Manager David Moyes faces the challenge of finding a suitable replacement for Rice.

Guendouzi’s time at Arsenal was tumultuous, with his attitude both on and off the pitch deemed problematic.

Eventually, he was deemed surplus to requirements by Mikel Arteta and sent out on loan before securing a permanent move away from the club.

Despite his troubled past, West Ham appear confident that Guendouzi could excel in the Premier League again. The midfielder has earned a place in the French national team and even featured in the 2018 World Cup final.

Guendouzi’s future at Marseille appears uncertain due to head coach Igor Tudor’s growing disapproval of him.

Despite the midfielder’s combative and effective playstyle, his relationship with Tudor could lead to his departure in the summer transfer window.

Guendouzi reportedly expressed his dissatisfaction with Tudor last summer and clashed with him during a friendly match against AC Milan.

The midfielder complained to Marseille’s president, Pablo Longoria, but was told that if he didn’t like it, he could leave. Despite this, Guendouzi’s situation improved somewhat after a team meeting.

Marseille is planning to sell Guendouzi this summer for more than double the €12 million they paid for him, and Arsenal could benefit financially from a sell-on clause.

Aston Villa is considered the most likely destination, with a potential reunion with former Arsenal manager Unai Emery.

Despite reduced playing time and a changed position at Marseille lately, Guendouzi has attracted interest from English clubs, and a return to the Premier League appears likely.

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