Clinching a top-four spot would allow both the Hammers and Foxes to show heightened ambition in the next transfer window though, and the prospect of missing out after all this hard work would hurt.
Lingard revelling in change in environment at West Ham
19 HOURS AGO
Here we take a run through what is at stake for both clubs as they begin to cast an eye towards plans for 2021/22.
West Ham United – sign Lingard, keep Rice & target Abraham
Whether they do or do not make the top four, the situations of Jesse Lingard and Declan Rice are a priority.
Lingard wants European football next season and clinching a Champions League place is one of the factors that will influence his choice – but there are also things to consider, and the way he has become so comfortable with the style of play and taken to his team-mates is a positive. West Ham want to keep him beyond this season and will ask United to quote their price at the end of the current campaign but other clubs – including Leicester and Spurs – are watching. United might yet even decide to keep him.
Lingard’s decision could also go hand-in-hand with Rice staying. The pair get on very well and are two main players West Ham see as part of a successful future.
Away from those two situations, Moyes is currently focusing on players that can make his XI stronger for next season and signing a new striker is vital. They did not replace Sebastien Haller in January and intend to work on a solution to that as soon as the season ends. Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham is seen as a realistic target, particularly if they can give him Champions League action, while 18-year-old Sparta Prague forward Adam Hložek is also still being listed as a key target.
Moyes knows they will need a deeper squad if there is European football to deal with though and it’s with that in mind that Phil Jones might be a name they consider when he leaves Manchester United at the end of the season.
The Hammers will be careful with spending on squad players and look for players with personality on and off the pitch that complements their current crop.
Another name sources say is very likely to become a target is Josh Brownhill of Burnley, as he is seen as a player with traits similar to Mark Noble.
The depth of spending at West Ham will depend on their end of season success though, as Moyes is not expecting a huge transfer kitty otherwise.
Leicester City – Vardy replacement, interest in Thorgan Hazard & defensive back-up
Leicester have already begun to look towards the next phase of their build and there are four potential positions for them to strengthen next season.
A top-four place is in their own hands and whatever the outcome of this weekend’s results they will remain in third place, so confidence is high that Champions League football will be on the menu. As such they are beginning to think about the summer window and sources are indicating a new striker, winger, defensive midfielder and centre-back are all possibilities if they clinch a spot among Europe’s elite.
The priority will be to find a new striker though, as the club begin to look towards life after Jamie Vardy.
A key target being looked at right now is Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard, who is on the lookout for new options and is likely to cost less than £20 million, as he approaches the final year of his contract.
Many clubs have been offered Edouard over the past year but Leicester are the most interested party at this stage. Other potential targets to look out for in this area are RB Salzburg’s Patson Daka and Brentford’s Ivan Toney.
A space in the wide attacking area is going to open up too for Leicester as they are not going to keep Cengiz Under beyond his current loan spell from Roma.
An interesting name in the frame to come into this position is Thorgan Hazard. At this stage there has been no contact but if Champions League football is indeed realised then it is understood he is a player they will very likely pursue. The Borussia Dortmund star, and brother of Real Madrid’s Eden, is capable of playing off either flank, but has three years left on his contract and his current club would have very little interest in listening to offers.
Bringing in another Belgian might be worth big investment though, as Leicester are also seeking to keep midfielder Youri Tielemans happy. They are hoping he will sign a contract extension but know he needs to be fully satisfied the club share his big ambition. Lingard may also yet emerge as an attacking target if he listens to offers away from Manchester United and West Ham.
The defensive midfield spot is interesting but will only need filling if Hamza Choudhury moves on, but there is interest in Boubakary Soumaré of Lille. His contract is set to expire in June 2022 and Leicester are one of many clubs who would like the opportunity to talk to him about a move.
That brings us onto defence and, really, this is seen more as a back-up plan – someone who will add depth rather than replace anyone already established in the side.
A couple of names mentioned at this stage are Callum McGregor and Kristoffer Ajer, both of Celtic, but others will emerge closer to the summer window.
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