Declan Rice is reportedly willing to make a move away from West Ham United, alerting the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City in their bid to sign the star this summer. But if a move cannot be brokered, they must turn to other targets to improve the gaps in the engine room. Express Sport takes a look at four candidates.
Ward-Prowse’s stock has risen higher than ever this season after a series of incredible performances for Southampton.
The Portsmouth-born star has nine goals and four assists from central midfield in the Premier League this season; not bad for a player who stars for a team in just 13th place.
With his free-kick prowess, alongside a willingness to press players and the ability to show consistency from corners, he could prove to be a valuable asset to any team in the European hunt.
With a move to either United or Chelsea, he could be convinced to leave Southampton after a nineteen-year spell with European football on offer.
Tchouameni has proven himself as one of the finest young midfield talents on the continent after a spate of impressive performances at the heart of Monaco’s midfield.
He has featured in every single minute since the end of February, where the south coast side have won seven of their last eight league games.
He could prove to be a cheaper alternative than Rice given that he would not fill a homegrown quota, with the West Ham star likely to cost more than the current Premier League transfer record.
And with reports suggesting Tchouameni would only cost £42m, a deal could be done instead of the West Ham star.
Erik ten Hag has worked well at Ajax over the past three seasons, with the development of talent Gravenberch being one of the key strengths of his tenure.
The youngster made his debut for the Amsterdam-based club under Ten Hag, making 14 appearances in his first two seasons after joining the club aged just eight.
Available on a free transfer next season, Gravenberch could join United for a fee of under £30m in the summer if Ajax refuse to let him leave on a free transfer at the age of just 19.
And with a whole array of technique, physicality and mental strengths in his locker, he could be perfect for the Red Devils – if Chelsea don’t get there soon.
Bellingham would be the creme-de-la-creme of central midfield signings for any club this summer if he was to move from Borussia Dortmund.
Still just 18, it is unbelievable to think that he has almost made 150 senior appearances throughout his career and could break that by the time the end of the season comes around.
Capable of tackling and playmaking alongside having superb pedigree in the final third, the Stourbridge-born star is set to become one of the world’s best players in the future.
He would cost a pretty penny, but for almost 20 years of service, it will not matter how much of a fee is required.