Manchester City are leading the pursuit of West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, as he looks to leave next summer even if the club clinches Champions League qualification, reports 90 min.
Declan Rice, 22, has established himself as one of Premier League’s best midfielders over the past few years, playing a crucial role in the Hammers’ sixth-placed finish in the Premier League last season. He also starred for England as Gareth Southgate’s side reached the Euro 2020 final in the summer.
The English midfield ace’s inspired performances for both club and country has seen his stock skyrocket amidst interest from a host of top Premier League clubs, as well as some European elites. 90 min adds that Manchester City have been long admirers of Rice, who has a contract at West Ham until 2024.
Rice has been in excellent form this term as well, helping West Ham to fourth in the table. Due to growing interest in the player, the Hammers have been trying to tie the 22-year-old down to a new and extended deal in the last couple of months, whilst offering him a hefty pay rise on his current contractual terms, the report suggests.
90 min further claims that West Ham value Rice at around £120m—a fee that if matched, will see the East Londoners sanction a sale in the summer of 2022.
Manchester City are potentially in the market for a new defensive midfielder ahead of the next season, with club captain Fernandinho, who penned a one-year contract extension earlier this year, could bid farewell at the end of the current campaign.
Should Fernandinho depart, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will be left with just one recognized defensive midfielder in Rodri in the squad. Perhaps, that’s the reason why the Sky Blues are interested in signing Rice.
If West Ham are rumored to accept around £120m to sell Rice, then Manchester City should be all over it trying to bring him to the Etihad Stadium and add him to Guardiola’s squad as Fernandinho’s long-term heir given his talent, potential and young age.