West Ham eye £50m Liverpool target as replacement for Declan Rice

West Ham are reportedly lining up a move for Fulham star Joao Palhinha to replace Declan Rice, with both players rumoured to be on Liverpool’s midfield shortlist.

According to the Guardian, the £50m-rated Portuguese international is an option for the east London side if they lose their club captain this summer, a prospect that feels inevitable even if West Ham win the UEFA Europa Conference League final in Prague.

The Mirror reported that the 24-year-old England star is on Liverpool’s radar as Jurgen Klopp looks to overhaul his midfield options this summer, and another player who is wanted by Liverpool is Palhinha according to TalkSport, with the German manager a huge fan of the Fulham dynamo.

With Liverpool focusing their attention on Alexis Mac Allister, West Ham could find themselves in the lead to sign Palhinha should the win the Europa Conference League and manage to sell Rice early on in the window, a set of moves that could be devastating for the Anfield side.

Indeed, both midfielders could be exceptional signings for Liverpool this summer, yet with West Ham now identifying Palhinha as a replacement for Rice and the Irons’ skipper likely to move to Arsenal, Klopp could have to rethink some ideas heading into the transfer window.

Palhinha signing for West Ham would be a kicker for Liverpool

Palhinha has enjoyed the mother of all debut seasons in England, with the midfielder playing a key role in Fulham’s comfortable midtable finish and establishing himself as one of the most exciting talents in the division, and West Ham landing the Portuguese star would be a blow for Liverpool.

The Reds are well aware of Palhinha’s abilities and how much value the midfielder can bring to the squad, and losing out on the Fulham man to West Ham of all clubs would be viewed by many as a blow for Liverpool, who should be blowing the Hammers out of the water for the 27-year-old.

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