The Daily Record understands that Sky Bet Championship side Sheffield Wednesday are leading the race to sign West Ham United defender Reece Burke. It is also believed that Steven Gerrard wants to make him his latest recruit ahead of his managerial debut with Rangers next season.

The Hammers are now without a manager after David Moyes departed at the end of the season. Rafa Benitez is amongst the names linked to replace him. The Premier League side are debating if he is allowed to leave permanently, or on loan, just as he did to Bolton Wanderers in the Sky Bet Championship last season. Burke made three appearances for West Ham last season, all in the FA Cup.

However, Gerrard faces competition from a host of current second-tier sides to snap up the versatile defender. Aston Villa, who could be alongside West Ham in the Premier League next season if they beat Fulham in the play-off final, as well as Leeds United and Reading are monitoring the situation with particular interest.

The 21-year-old has only made a handful of appearances in the West Ham first-team since making his debut in 2014, which was a heavy defeat to Nottingham Forest in the Third Round of the FA Cup. Since then, he has had separated loan spells at Bolton, in addition to a productive spell with Bradford City in 2015/16 and then Wigan Athletic the following campaign.

Plenty of clubs clearly want to add the player to their rosters, and the player himself will have a big decision to make this summer. It could be that he waits until the new manager is appointed, which is believed to be announced rather quickly.

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I currently work as a Championship Research Analyst for Onside Analysis Ltd. In this role I provide match previews and reviews for every Championship game. I also delve into matches from all across the globe, gaining an insight into football from different leagues in different countries. I came into this role shortly after graduating from The University of Hull after studying BSc Sports Coaching & Performance. I am a Lincoln City fan and thankfully they're back in The72!!

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