West Ham close in on double swoop for England pair Harry Maguire and James Ward-Prowse

Manchester United centre-back and Southampton midfielder both set to move to London Stadium in deals worth around £30m

Harry Maguire moved to Manchester United from Leicester City in 2019. PA
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West Ham United are closing in on a double swoop to sign Manchester United centre-back Harry Maguire and Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse in deals worth around £30 million each.

Maguire had fallen down the pecking order under manager Erik ten Hag last season, finding himself fifth-choice centre-half at Old Trafford behind Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw, whose usual position is left-back.

The 30-year-old had been keen to remain at the club he joined from Leicester City for £80 million in 2019 and was contracted to until the summer of 2025 but the writing was on the wall when Ten Hag stripped Maguire of the captaincy at the start of pre-season.

Maguire made 175 appearances for United, scoring seven goals but made only 16 Premier League appearances last season and another campaign without regular football would have put his England place under threat ahead of next summer's Euro 2024 in Germany. Maguire has won 57 caps and scored seven goals for his country.

He is understood to be keen on moving to the London club and while personal terms have not yet been agreed, it is not expected to be a problem.

Ward-Prowse, meanwhile, joined the Southampton Academy at the age of eight, and rose up through the ranks before making his senior debut as a sixteen-year-old in October 2011.

He made 410 appearances for the Saints, scoring 55 goals, but his nine goals in 38 Premier League games last season could not prevent Southampton being relegated from the top-flight and a move away from the south coast looked inevitable.

The 28-year-old – who has won 11 England caps, scoring two goals – is a renowned dead-ball specialist scoring 17 free-kicks and needs only one more to equal David Beckham's Premier League record.

Ward-Prowse started in Southampton’s first Championship game of the season last week – a 2-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday – but did not play in their shock EFL Cup defeat to Gillingham on Tuesday.

His arrival will be a welcome one for West Ham manager David Moyes who needed to strengthen his midfield after losing captain Declan Rice to Arsenal in a £105 million deal.

Moyes is also thought to be keen on Manchester United's Scotland international Scott McTominay but is reported to have seen a £30 million offer turned down, with the 26-year-old midfielder valued at around £45 million by the Red Devils.

But while the Hammers close in on new arrivals at the London Stadium, they face a fight to keep hold of another key player with Manchester City now looking to sign Lucas Paqueta.

The attacking midfielder became the club's record signing last summer when he joined from Ligue 1 side Lyon for £51 million and while an initial approach has been knocked back, Pep Guardiola's treble winners are thought to be planning another bid of £70 million.

The Guardian have reported that the Brazil international’s contract contains an £85 million release clause that does not become active until next summer.

But City's interest will prove problematic for West Ham should they turn down the initial offer with the 25-year-old sure to have had his head turned by the prospect of playing Champions League football with the current European champions.

West Ham finished 14th in the Premier League last season but won their first major trophy in 43 years after beating Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final.

Updated: August 09, 2023, 11:31 AM