By Alex McLeish

4th Oct, 2021 | 7:00am

Ex-manager tips West Ham to beat 'many, many teams' to sign McKennie as talks underway

Alex McLeish has backed West Ham to beat numerous clubs to the signing of Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie next year.

The former Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the riches of the Premier League could lure the 23-year-old to east London.

As revealed by Football Insider (28th September), West Ham have opened talks with Juve to sign the USA international.

As detailed by this site, the east Londoners are preparing for Declan Rice’s departure.

McKennie is the Irons’ top midfield target and they are laying the groundwork for a blockbuster deal.

The American star only joined Juventus permanently this summer after a loan spell from Schalke last season.

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McLeish insisted numerous clubs would be interested in McKennie after his impressive performances in both Germany and Italy.

However, he suggested West Ham could win the race thanks to their financial clout.

“The Premier League, as we know, is the richest league in the world,” McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

“Many, many years ago, Italy had that kind of status.

“You would expect anybody to be interested in a move to England.

“McKennie has caught the attention of many, many teams in the world with his performance levels.

“When you do that, you’re very marketable.”

McKennie played 46 times across all competitions last season, with 25 starts under his belt.

He has started three times in six appearances this term for Juve.

He has also picked up 25 international caps playing for the USA to date.

McKennie arrived in Europe with Schalke back in 2016 and played 91 times for the Germans before joining Juve.

In other news, Premier League club set sights on signing West Ham teenager as talks held.