February 29, 2024

This January, West Ham needs a left winger. They might try to replicate their previous Championship runs by making a bid for talented Sunderland winger Jack Clarke.

After Lucas Paqueta hobbled off against Bristol City on Sunday, the Hammers lacked menace down the left side, and Divin Mubama, his replacement, was still a touch sloppy with his appearance. At the end of the current campaign, the 19-year-old’s contract with West Ham is also set to expire.

Jarrod Bowen of Hull City signed a contract with the London club in January 2020, and the England international’s success is well-known. Now that Clarke is still doing well at the Stadium of Light, West Ham may try to finalize a similar trade for him.

The Mirror reports that West Ham are getting their accounts in order to make an offer for Clarke, who was a target for Burnley last summer. The newly promoted side failed to meet Sunderland’s transfer fee demands with their player still contracted until 2026.

With 12 Championship  goals this season, and two goals and an assist in his last three league appearances, the Black Cats are certainly in a strong position to demand a hefty fee for Clarke. The player shares similarities with Bowen in terms of ball control, energy and goal threat although lacks the physicality of the Hammers man, who is four years his senior. The Sunderland Echo reports that the club would accept a bid of around £15 million for the player.

Speaking about Clarke’s future in September, before his sacking, former Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray was asked if he was ever worried his star man would leave in the summer. The manager, who had previously labelled Clarke a ‘superb talent’, said: “Not really. He told me that if the move happens it happens, he’ll take it in his stride. If it doesn’t happen he’s going to be happy at this football club.

“He said that to me so I didn’t have any fears. He wasn’t banging on my door saying ‘gaffer I want to go, what’s going on?’ He wasn’t doing that. He was saying if it happens it happens, if it doesn’t happen I’ll give you everything I’ve got which was good to hear and he’s continued to do that.”

 

Former Leeds United and Reading star Ian Harte now works as an agent. (Image: Getty Images)
Former Leeds United and Reading star Ian Harte now works as an agent. (Image: Getty Images)

Clarke’s agent, former defender Ian Harte, has also spoken about the star’s future and alluded to the fact that if a big Premier Club was to come calling, it would be hard to turn down. Speaking to The i in December, Harte said: “Jack is happy. He loves it at Sunderland. Obviously there was a club that came in over the summer to try and take him away. They put the offer into Sunderland, Sunderland declined and obviously Jack has to stay professional, he has to still go and put performances in and that’s what he’s done and that’s what he’ll continue to do.”

“I’ve always said Jack is happy at Sunderland, he loves it at the club, he gets on with the group of players. I’m guessing Sunderland have a valuation, if that valuation is met then I’m sure they’ll be on to me and onto Jack saying ‘thanks for your time but it’s time to move on’ in the nicest way possible.”

 

 

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