The Telegraph have claimed West Bromwich Albion are poised to make a bargain move for West Ham United defender Reece Oxford this summer, with Slaven Bilic expected to arrive as manager.
West Brom are about to appoint the former Hammers boss, who gave a 16-year-old Oxford his debut in the first match of 2015-16 – which also happened to be Bilic’s first game in charge.
Playing Oxford in holding midfield, the young Englishman shone as the Hammers won 2-0. The West Ham academy product endeared himself to Bilic by marking Mesut Ozil out of the game.
However, since then, he has managed just 16 more appearances for West Ham. He has since struggled during loan spells at Reading and German clubs Borussia Monchengladbach and Augsburg.
Now 20 years of age, Oxford has failed to live up to the enormous hype following his debut which saw him linked with both Manchester clubs in the past. He has a contract at West Ham until the summer of 2022.
West Brom are expected to make a move with Bilic about to join, but they do face competition from Middlesbrough. It is believed an offer of £2million could be enough to land Oxford.
Oxford has little chance of breaking into West Ham’s first team. Last summer’s signings Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena have pushed Oxford down the pecking order.
The club still boast Angelo Ogbonna and Winston Reid, with the club likely to bring in another central defender this summer. Manuel Pellegrini has hardly used Oxford – or even given the defender a sniff.
A move to Championship side West Brom would be good for Oxford, especially under Bilic.