When the Declan Rice money finally arrives, West Ham United will be flush with disposable income. Once Arsenal finalizes the deal, the Irons are reportedly confident that they can sign Southampton star James Ward-Prowse.

Declan Rice’s protracted transfer from West Ham to Arsenal has prompted much speculation about potential successors.

The Gunners and their London rivals came to an agreement on a new British record of $138 million. Even though contracts were finalized weeks ago, there has been no formal announcement as yet.

Frustration has come to the fore at West Ham, waiting for Arsenal to complete this deal. Until the money comes through, they can’t realistically make steps to sign a Declan Rice replacement.

James Ward-Prowse seen as ideal Declan Rice replacement

As Declan Rice is leaving for Arsenal, West Ham must replace him. David Moyes wants to find a new midfielder, but he also wants to give his attack more support since Michail Antonio is still the primary man up front.

James Ward-Prowse, captain of Southampton, who were relegated to the Championship, is one such target. The Daily Mail reports that West Ham are the clear frontrunners to recruit the English midfielder.

Furthermore, in April, the Hammers’ boss David Moyes said that he had previously attempted to get the 28-year-old to play for West Ham. Ward-Prowse is among the most talented young players to come through the Saints’ youth system.

How much do Southampton value their captain at?

West Ham are ready to sign the midfielder, but will only pay half of Southampton’s asking price.

The Daily Mail adds that they are preparing a bid of $33 million, which falls around $10 million short of the asking price.

Photo credit: IMAGO / PA Images