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One winner and one loser as West Ham finalise Harold Moukoudi deal

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Transfers

One winner and one loser as West Ham finalise Harold Moukoudi deal

West Ham United are closing in on the signing of Le Havre defender Harold Moukoudi as they look to bolster their defence with the powerful French youth international.

Sky Sports report that a £10.7 million deal for the 20-year-old is close and he is expected to join the Hammers before the transfer window slams shut ahead of the Premier League season kicking off.

His arrival will have a big impact on some people at the club, but who is set to benefit and who is set to lose out?

Winner: Manuel Pellegrini

The new West Ham manager has certainly got his way in the transfer market this summer with David Gold and David Sullivan having spent big to ensure that the coach is happy and can build the squad he needs for success.

In Moukoudi, the signing also represents a very clear change of plans from the new boss, who is keen to bring in younger players to develop, as opposed to the older and proven players who joined last summer.

Loser: Declan Rice

After making a first team breakthrough under Slaven Bilic and David Moyes last season, Declan Rice may be reluctant to welcome into the squad another young player who plays in central defence and may well be competing with him for a spot in the side. The fact that the club are even looking may be a concern for him.

“It’s a new manager coming in and I think everyone has got a fresh start under him. I can’t wait to show him what I’m about and what I can do. I played 32 or 33 times last year and I want to carry on this year. I want to keep playing games and keep improving and learning.”

Rice knows that the pressure is on.

It could allow Rice to move forward into a holding midfielder role that he is more used to from his time in the youth team, though losing a spot that he made his own in 2017/18 is a threat and there are plenty of new arrivals in midfield too.

Sam is a football journalist focusing on English football at all levels and Spanish football. He also writes for Spain's biggest daily sports newspaper, MARCA, as well as The Boot Room. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

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