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    West Ham handed huge transfer boost as Southampton identify replacement

    West Ham remain in talks with Southampton over a move for defender Kyle Walker-Peters, talkSPORT understands.

    The Saints have asked the Hammers for £10million plus midfielder Flynn Downes for England international Walker-Peters, who is into the final year of his contract.

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    Walker-Peters helped Southampton return to the Premier League but looks set to depart this summerCredit: Getty

    Saints have already sourced Walker-Peters’ replacement with Japanese right-back Yukinari Sugawara undergoing a medical ahead of a move from Dutch side AZ Alkmaar. 

    Walker-Peters had a fine campaign with Southampton as he helped them return to the Premier League at the first time of asking after relegation to the Championship last year.

    The defender has entered the final year of his contract and no positive discussions have taken place over an extension.

    It has left the Saints looking to sell or lose the 27-year-old for nothing with West Ham the most keen on a deal.

    The England international moved to the south-coast club from Tottenham in 2020 and has played 167 games for them.

    If the full-back does move to east London, he will become West Ham’s third summer signing this summer after goalkeeper Wes Foderingham and Brazilian star Luis Guilherme.

    Downes, meanwhile, spent last season on loan at Southampton and immediately became a key player under Russell Martin.

    The 25-year-old made 37 appearances in all competitions for them, including a starring role in the Championship play-off final against Leeds where they earned promotion to the Premier League.

    Downes could be included in the deal after spending last season loan at Southampton from West Ham

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    Downes could be included in the deal after spending last season loan at Southampton from West HamCredit: Getty

    The 38-year-old coach is desperate for the Brentwood-born star to stay and talks are going on that could see the player included in the Walker-Peters deal.

    Southampton have already identified a replacement for Walker-Peters in the shape of Sugawara from AZ Alkmaar.

    Watch Julen Lopetegui’s first press conference as the new West Ham manager

    The 24-year-old moved to the Netherlands in 2019, initially on loan before joining permanently the following year, and has since become a key player at the Eredivisie outfit.

    The Japan international is renowned for his quick decision-making, passing ability and is also a free-kick specialist, being able to deliver a brilliant cross or take a shot at goal himself.

    Southampton have already signed Adam Lallana on a free transfer after leaving Brighton, joining his boyhood club 10 years after departing for Liverpool.

    However, another deal to sign a former player has run into trouble over wage demands.

    The Saints have also bolstered their defence with the permanent signing of Taylor Harwood-Bellis from Manchester City after his loan spell last season, as well as Nathan Wood from Swansea and Ronnie Edwards from Peterborough.

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