Tottenham Hotspur are set to make a £35 million move for West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice in the summer, it has been claimed.
Despite not spending money in the last two transfer windows, Mauricio Pochettino’s side have managed to keep up with Manchester City and Liverpool are the top of the Premier League.
According to the Express, Tottenham will compete with Liverpool and Manchester United, who have also been linked with the talented central midfielder.
Rice signed a new contract with the Hammers that will keep him at the club until 2024, but that’s unlikely to stop Tottenham from making a bid in the summer.
To sign Declan Rice would be a smart move by Tottenham
Predominantly a defensive-minded midfielder, Rice’s ability to shield the defence has earned him a lot of plaudits this season.
Under Manuel Pellegrini, Rice has been promoted to a defensive midfield role this season, and has played in 22 games in the Premier League so far.
The 20-year old has emerged as a key cog in the set-up, and his ability to stop teams from playing would be a good addition to Spurs.
The Lilywhites still have a pretty good midfield despite letting Mousa Dembele Leave for China in January, as the emergence of Oliver Skipp and the consistency of Harry Winks has helped the team grind out results.
Rice is a tough tackler in midfield, having mustered 2.6 tackles a game for the north London outfit so far this season. The Republic of Ireland international’s passing is pretty solid as well, as he has an accuracy of 86.4% and that will tune in well with Tottenham’s style of play.
West Ham try to play out from the back under Pellegrini, and Rice has been more involved in the build-up play, so a move to Spurs won’t be that big a change for Rice.
For his age, Rice has shown good maturity in a position that is often deemed crucial, and the level-headedness would stand him in good stead at Spurs.
Considering Spurs haven’t spent money in the last two transfer windows, they should back Pochettino in the coming summer, and Rice’s addition would strengthen the team.
Stats via Whoscored