West Ham set to beat Crystal Palace to Flynn Downes transfer as Swansea ace nears medical

Downes is now set to become David Moyes ’ third signing of the summer transfer window following the arrivals of Morocco centre-back Nayef Aguerd from Rennes and goalkeeper Alphonse Areola on a permanent deal from Paris Saint-Germain following a successful loan spell at the London Stadium last season.

Moyes’ decision to boost his ranks in central midfield comes following the retirement of club captain Mark Noble at the end of the 2021/22 campaign and the departure of Alex Kral following his unsuccessful loan spell. Downes will now compete with Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek, as well whoever else the Hammers can bring in during the rest of the window, with Moyes still hoping to add another central midfield player in addition to Downes.

For Palace, they have now seemingly been beaten to two targets in a matter of days, with Rangers’ Joe Aribo now looking like he’ll be joining Ralph Hasenhuttl and Southampton rather than coming to south London. The Eagles have so far signed former Derby teenager Malcolm Ebiowei and England international goalkeeper Sam Johnstone on free transfers and have agreed on a deal worth up to £22million with Lens for 22-year-old midfielder Cheick Doucoure.

Downes’ move to the London Stadium will be his second transfer in two summers after the Brentwood-born midfielder joined Swansea from Ipswich last August for just over £1million. He made an immediate impact in south Wales, going on to make 37 Championship appearances and drawing incredibly high praise from manager Russell Martin, who said he thought Downes had a huge future in the game.

“I’m running out of superlatives for Flynn,” he said after Downes scored his first goal for the club in a 1-1 draw with Huddersfield Town in January. “He came from League One. He was a really important signing for us. We were really supported by the owners with that signing, and I think it’s been justified because he’s one of our biggest assets.

“He has all the ingredients he needs to play at the very top. He knows how I feel about him and how we feel about him as a coaching staff and what his ceiling can be. I think he can go and play wherever he wants eventually.

“Without attracting too much attention to him from other people, Flynn – just the way he is as a boy, every day, the way he trains, how respectful he is towards his teammates, the way he conducts himself – is an incredible character.”



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