Manchester City are in a three-way battle with Manchester United and Chelsea for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, reports ESPN.
Declan Rice, 23, has developed into one of Premier League’s best midfielders in recent years, racking up close to 200 appearances for West Ham since making his debut back in 2016. He is enjoying another solid season with the Hammers and has helped his side challenge for a place in the top four.
The defensive midfielder starred in England’s run to the Euro 2020 finals last year and his consistent performances for both club and country haven’t gone unnoticed, with Manchester City one of the top Premier League clubs keen on his signature.
Declan Rice has a contract at the London Stadium until 2024, and the club have the option of extending his contract by another year. While West Ham are in no rush to sell their star midfielder, they could demand a transfer fee over £80m for the player, claims ESPN.
Manchester City, as things stand, will see club legend Fernandinho leave at the end of the season after back-to-back contract extensions. Fernandinho, 36, has been a huge presence for the Sky Blues both on the field and off it, playing a major role in the club’s dominance in the Premier League under Pep Guardiola.
However, thanks to Rodri’s strong performances at the base of City’s midfield to a certain extent, the veteran Brazilian’s game-time has become limited over the last two seasons. With Fernandinho past his prime and coming to the end of his illustrious Manchester City career, Pep Guardiola looks set to recruit his long-term replacement in the summer.
Declan Rice has emerged as a target, as the Cityzens search for a player to compete and cover for Rodri in midfield. Rice has shown his qualities in a West Ham shirt but if he is ambitious about competing and winning trophies, a move to Manchester City would just be perfect.
City could offer him the guarantee of playing in the Champions League regularly as well, whilst providing the platform to rub shoulders with the world’s best players.
In recent years, few players would turn down the chance to pull on the Man City shirt and the expectation from Rice would be nothing different. However, given the long-standing interest of Chelsea and Manchester United, Pep Guardiola and City will have their task cut out of luring the England international to the Etihad Stadium in the summer.