West Ham ready to sign Leeds player as Declan Rice replacement

According to journalist Tobi Altschaffl, West Ham United has joined the race to sign Leeds United defender Robin Koch this summer, potentially as a replacement for Declan Rice.

Koch, the German center-back, is expected to leave Elland Road following Leeds United’s relegation from the Premier League. BILD reports that there is a clause in his contract that allows him to depart on a free transfer.

Florian Plettenberg has previously mentioned Manchester United’s interest in signing Koch, while German club Eintracht Frankfurt also holds interest in securing his services.

Despite Leeds United conceding a significant number of goals last season, Koch managed to maintain a solid reputation throughout the 2022/23 campaign.

As he is set to exit Elland Road this summer, a move back to the Premier League on a free transfer seems like a logical choice for the German defender.

West Ham has been in need of additional center-back options since Craig Dawson’s departure during the January transfer window. Therefore, their interest in Koch aligns with their future plans. However, it remains uncertain how well he would perform as a defensive midfielder, playing in the number six position.

BILD journalist Altschaffl wrote: “In addition to Eintracht Frankfurt, West Ham entered the race for Robin Koch.

“At West Ham he is being discussed as a six and a possible Rice successor. Koch’s tendency is more towards the Bundesliga.”