Darren Bent has suggested West Ham will be able to ward off suitors if they demand £50million for Tomas Soucek in January.
The former Tottenham and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes the “massive” asking price could be money well spent for some clubs but that most teams will baulk at the eight-figure fee.
The Athletic report that West Ham would not entertain any offers below £50million should a club move for the 25-year-old this summer, with no release clause in his contract.
The Irons signed the midfielder for around £19million (€21million) over the summer after impressing on an initial loan from Sparta Prague last season.
Bent has admitted he does not think any of the “big boys” will launch a move for Soucek next month and suggested West Ham’s asking price would be enough to keep any suitors away for now.
Bent told Football Insider: “Well, £50million is a lot of money, massive, too much, way, way too much.
“He’s done really well for what West Ham needs, whether the big boys are coming or not, I don’t think so. It certainly is a lot of money for one of the big boys to come and get him but for me, I think it could be money well spent.
“If West Ham could keep hold of him, I think that’d be massive because he has done very, very well but I just think £50million is a lot of money.”
Soucek has not missed a single minute of the Irons’ 14 Premier League fixtures this season, with three goals under his belt already.
He has a total of 27 top-flight games under his belt in England, as well as 30 caps for the Czech Republic.