West Ham United hold talks over signing Southampton right-back Kyle Walker-Peters in swap deal with Flynn Downes

Southampton right-back Kyle Walker-Peters is wanted by new West Ham United boss Julen Lopetegui in a deal that would see Flynn Downes’ loan move at St Mary’s Stadium made permanent.

Kyle Walker-Peters

Kyle Walker-Peters, 27, is entering the final year of his contract at Southampton. Having joined the Saints from Tottenham Hotspur back in 2020, he has played 167 times for the south coast club. The full-back enjoyed a strong season in the Championship, bagging two goals and four assists in 46 games.

The 27-year-old was a mainstay in the Southampton side that achieved promotion via play-offs last month. However, with Walker-Peters’ contract expiring in 2025, Southampton are open to cashing him in now. He could reportedly become West Ham’s third summer signing after the arrivals of Brazilian winger Luis Guilherme from Palmeiras and English goalkeeper Wes Foderingham from Sheffield United.

Meanwhile, Flynn Downes was also a key figure in Russell Martin’s promotion-winning side, racking up two goals and three assists in 36 appearances on loan at St Mary’s Stadium. Talks are going on to make the central midfielder’s stay at the sea coast permanent.

Kyle Walker-Peters wanted by the Hammers

West Ham were defensively poor last season and definitely require reinforcements to compete for a top-half spot in the Premier League under Julen Lopetegui. A top-quality central defender is of paramount importance, someone who could stay fit and marshal the defence week in, week out. In addition, they’d also do well with a new right-back.

The Irons have been in discussion with Ben Johnson over a new deal for some time now, but with neither party being able to agree on fresh terms, the full-back has seen his contract expire at the London Stadium. Newly promoted Ipswich Town are now set to sign Johnson on a free transfer from West Ham, leaving Lopetegui with Vladimir Coufal as the only right-back in the squad.

Walker-Peters could be a strong potential replacement for Johnson, and while he is at right-back, he can also operate at left-back and wing-back. This should appeal to Lopetegui as he rebuilds the squad inherited by David Moyes. At 27, the two-cap England international is supposedly entering the peak of his career and would be an instant upgrade on the ageing but hardworking Coufal.

The ex-Tottenham man is a reliable full-back renowned for his attacking ability and energy. He could provide much-needed solidity and stability to the Hammers’ backline. So, this swap deal involving Walker-Peters and Downes should be completed as quickly as possible.

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