West Ham are willing to let one of their most valuable assets leave this summer after he refused to sign a new contract. The club are now willing to sell for offers in excess of £10million.
Fresh Football understands that Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal are three of the biggest clubs interested in signing 17-year-old Reece Oxford, who is considered one of the best young prospects in England. The central defender / midfielder impressed in this seasons opener against Arsenal, but has since been shifted out of the first team picture and his game time has been limited. Chelsea and Arsenal are unlikely to offer a much clearer route into the team, but both clubs do have a lack of natural central defenders and midfielders at the club, so Oxford could be tempted, especially by the stature of both clubs.
Since the early stages of the season, Oxford has spent most of his time captaining the West Ham United under-21 team. This is some achievement for a 17-year-old, but he is determined to play Premier League football as soon as possible and wants assurances of that in any new deal – it seems the Hammers are not willing to accept those conditions.
The club have now accepted that they need to sell in order to get some value out of the frustrated Oxford. Chelsea and Arsenal are just two clubs that are interested, but there are several Premier League outfits that will now be interested in signing the youngster.
Oxford already stands at 6ft 3′ and is a composed player, capable of playing at a ball-playing defender or in midfield. Despite regularly playing as a centre-back for the youth team, Oxford showed tactical nous to tame Arsenal’s midfield in last seasons Premier League opener and that impressed Arsene Wenger first hand. Wenger is keen to sign first team stars this summer but also rebuild the clubs youth prospects: Oxford, Ben Chilwell, Ryan Sessegnon, Rob Holding and Charlie Taylor are also being considered.
Manchester City appear to be favourites at this stage as Pep Guardiola attempts to nurture his latest batch of homegrown talent. City have a lack of controllers in central midfield and Oxford shows the potential to become a real talented ball player. Oxford wouldn’t start for City, but it would not be surprising to see Guardiola utilise Oxford in the first team more frequently than Slaven Bilic has this season.
Reece Oxford has since replied personally on Twitter suggesting that the latest news was simply rumours – but there is uncertainty over his future with just two years on his current deal remaining and no new contract signed – interest from Arsenal and Manchester City could prove too much to resist.
Wow rumours will be rumours !??
— Ox (@Reeceoxford_) 17 May 2016