The signing of Marseille midfielder Matteo Guendouzi could make sense for West Ham this summer, but a move to Aston Villa seems more likely, according to Jonathan Johnson in his exclusive CaughtOffside column.
The Hammers look likely to face interest from Arsenal in star midfield player Declan Rice this summer, so it could be that they’ll have money to spend and a big hole to fill in that area of their squad.
From that point of view, Guendouzi could tick a lot of boxes for West Ham, according to Johnson, though he questions if the Frenchman will be particularly tempted by a move to the London Stadium at this moment in time.
It’s not been the best of seasons for David Moyes’ side, and Guendouzi may well look more favourably on the project that’s currently underway at Aston Villa, where he could also link up with his former manager Unai Emery, who worked with him at Arsenal.
“Matteo Guendouzi is continuing to attract interest from Premier League clubs,” Johnson said.
“I recently revealed that Aston Villa, managed by his former manager at Arsenal Unai Emery, could come in for him this summer and that it’s long been felt he would like another spell in England.
“Despite reports about interest from West Ham, I haven’t had that confirmed to me, but it is a move that makes sense with the expectation that Declan Rice will move on this summer. Guendouzi brings Premier League experience, so could tick a lot of boxes for West Ham, but I still think a move to Villa would be more likely if they qualify for Europe.
“I think the lure of working with Emery is quite strong, so it’s just a question of whether or not they do qualify for the Europa League or Europa Conference League.
“Still, assuming Rice does move on, Guendouzi would be a logical way for them to use that money, but with what’s gone on in the Premier League this season I’m not sure West Ham would be seen as the most attractive destination, unless they can pull off something special in the Europa Conference League.
“Wherever he ends up, I think Marseille are resigned to losing Guendouzi this summer, and it’ll be interesting to see what he can achieve if he does return to the Premier League, as I think he’s improved a lot since his difficult spell at Arsenal as a youngster.”