West Ham have Roma boss to contend with in chase for summer target

West Ham will have to beat Jose Mourinho to Yves Bissouma this summer as the Roma boss wants him for next season, according to Sky Italy.

The Malian international looks to be on the way out of Brighton as he reaches the final year of his contract, and is highly rated.

According to Claret & Hugh it would cost around £40million to bring in the player that Hammers star Declan Rice clearly would like to line up alongside, as he told BT Sport the Seagulls man was one of the top five midfielders in the Premier League.

According to Sky in Italy the 25-year-old is a player the former Chelsea and Tottenham boss “likes so much”, as he looks to add to the side which is fresh from lifting the Europa Conference League trophy.

It appeared last week that the player himself favoured a move to the London Stadium due to the appearance of a Hammers emoji on his Instagram bio.

A source has disputed that to Claret & Hugh, claiming it has “always been there” and represents the fact he considers himself “as hard as a hammer”.

That seems a dubious explanation, and while it is not definitely untrue, even Brighton’s local paper the Argus had reported it being added in recent days amid the deletion of all Seagulls photos.

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Mourinho is not the force of personality he once was, but his trophy win, albeit in the third-tier competition, shows he retains some of the quality he once had.

He was far more of a threat to the Irons in his time in west London than he was in north London but his history as a rival across the capital will hardly delight fans to hear that he is involved here.

As a player, Bissouma seems a solid addition to a midfield department that is looking distinctly thin outside of star man Rice and partner Tomas Soucek.

The sexual assault case, for which the former Lille man was arrested in October, appears to still be unresolved and should give the club pause if they do decide to make a move for him.

Other interested parties include Aston Villa, Tottenham and Arsenal, according to 90min, and while the Hammers have not yet made an approach it would not be a surprise if they did.

If so it looks like they will have an old enemy to contend with for his signature.

In other West Ham news, Stuart Pearce was emotional as he described his parting message to one Irons star on his final day at the club.

Be sure to follow West Ham Zone on Facebook for 24/7 updates on the Hammers plus more exclusive interviews with Frank McAvennie.

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