West Ham are not interested in signing Portsmouth youngster Leon Maloney, according to Portsmouth News reporter Will Rooney.
But Rooney has suggested that these claims are false.
Writing on his personal Twitter account, the journalist said: “Understand reports linking Pompey youngster Leon Maloney to Chelsea, West Ham and Ajax as nonsense.”
This probably isn’t the worst thing in the world for West Ham, truth be told. Maloney is certainly a prospect, and the fact that he is being linked with the likes of Chelsea and Ajax should tell you just how highly thought of he is. But this is also a player who has yet to make his first team debut for Portsmouth, and in the grand scheme of things, missing out on him won’t be such a crushing blow. The likes of Josh Cullen and Joe Powell are already in the Irons’ setup, and surely have a more immediate path to first team football. The Hammers probably have one of the most impressive academy systems in the country, and by the time Maloney had worked his way up through the ranks, there is every chance that they could have produced a handful of players who were just as capable as the teenager is. Maybe in a year or two, this will look like a ridiculous underestimation of his powers, but right now, nobody will be losing any sleep over missing out on him.