West Ham join Aston Villa in race for resurgent Arsenal flop Matteo Guendouzi

    Argentina v France: Final - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
    Matteo Guendouzi reached the World Cup final with France last year (Picture: Getty Images)

    West Ham have joined Aston Villa in pursuing former Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, although a deal is unlikely before the end of the current transfer window.

    The Frenchman arrived at Arsenal as an unknown quantity from Lorient in 2018 and breifly shone, but then quickly fell out of favour at the Emirates.

    He moved on loan to Hertha Berlin and then permanently to Marseille where he has turned his career around, shining for the Ligue 1 side enough to be in the France squad that reached the World Cup final in Qatar over the weekend.

    The 23-year-old’s performances have attracted the attention of Premier League clubs who are keen to bring him back to England, with West Ham and Villa taking notice of the former Gunner.

    French publication L’Equipe report that the Hammers are showing an interest, after Foot Mercato had reported Villa’s liking of Guendouzi.

    Villa manager Unai Emery was in charge of the Frenchman at Arsenal and was asked about working with him again earlier this month, but suggested any incomings would rely on the Villains selling players first.

    ‘I can’t speak about players potentially coming here because at the moment we didn’t do nothing about it,’ said Emery earlier in January. ‘Some players, of course, if I know them, could be a good possibility to bring them and to be with us.

    ‘At the moment the club is hoping to add some more players in the squad.

    ‘At the beginning we were speaking about the possibility of some players to leave and if, like Cameron Archer, he left first, we have more players in the squad now with this possibility to leave.

    ‘If we can do it then we can add some players, but not specifically speaking about one name like Matteo.

    ‘The possibility is to improve and have better balance in the squad with different profiles and trying to improve every time the players in the team.’

    Marseille are not keen to sell and the player is not desperate to leave, but a bid of around £40m could make things happen for Guendouzi’s suitors.

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