Manchester City are in pursuit of Fernandinho’s long term replacement and West Ham United’s Declan Rice seems to fit the bill perfectly. The operation though would be costing well over £100 million for the defending champions who are going to face Chelsea and Manchester United in the race for one of England’s hottest property, MEN understands.
Guardiola has been keen on reinforcing his midfield rather than signing a striker in January. The Skyblues have been linked with the likes of Denis Zakaria, Pablo Gavira, Franck Kessie and Declan Rice in recent times. Out of all linked with a move to City, Rice looks like the most likely player to leave his club soon.
Former Liverpool defender and Sky Sports Pundit, Graeme Souness in a recent interview said that
"“Declan Rice is an ‘obvious replacement’ for Fernandinho at Manchester City.””Jack Grealish’s transfer from Aston Villa to Manchester City for £100 million means that’s where the bidding is likely to start for Rice, who’s four years younger at 22,””Yes, they have Rodri, but Fernandinho’s 36 and in the final six months of his contract, so Rice is an obvious replacement because they have the finances and are buying when they are on top.””City, Chelsea and United will all pay a premium for Rice. The only argument you can offer if you’re buying is that he’s not a striker and that’s where the big money generally goes. It might take rice to another level.”"
Source: The Times.
Rice, 22, has been a revelation with the English side and has been consistently featuring in the starting XI of Gareth Southgate in the Euros. The English international has been sensational for West Ham United as well playing a pivotal role in the Hammer’s astronomic rise this season.
The Hammers are currently placed 5th with just a solitary point behind UEFA Champions league contention spot. David Moves’ side have also beaten Manchester City in their Carabao Cup clash 5-3 on penalties but eventually lost to Antonio Conte’s Tottenham 1-2 in a vital quarterfinal clash.
Guardiola would be keen on landing Rice in January itself if West Ham decide to part ways with the 22-year-old. Manchester City will be restricted in their options in midfield with the departure of Fernandinho and that makes the addition of Rice that much more crucial.
However, the reigning champions though would find it tough to get the prized signature of Declan Rice with Manchester United and Chelsea constantly breathing down their necks. City though would certainly have an edge over the other two clubs given their financial muscle which has been bolstered by Ferran’s departure to Barcelona.
So, would Declan Rice don Manchester blues ?
let us know.