The central midfielder has no intention of extending his contract at the London Stadium and wants to leave West Ham to fulfil his lofty ambitions. Some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs, including Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City, are interested in the Hammers skipper.
According to The Guardian, Declan Rice is open to a move away from West Ham next summer amidst interest from Manchester United and other top Premier League clubs. The England international is desperate to play at the highest level and says he is “really ambitious” and “at the end of your career you want to look back at what you’ve won”.
Rice, 23, has a contract with West Ham until the summer of 2024, with the option to extend by a year, and he has rejected multiple offers of a new deal. The Hammers are expected to allow their captain to leave at the end of the season, although they will hope to scare off potential buyers by demanding a fee in the region of £100m, the report adds.
Declan Rice keen to leave West Ham—Should Man United join the race?
Manchester United splashed over £60m to sign Casemiro from Real Madrid in the summer, whilst acquiring the services of Christian Eriksen on a free transfer, as new manager Erik ten Hag looked to revamp his midfield after the departures of Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata at the end of last season.
Casemiro, after a slow start, has settled down well at Man United and formed a solid partnership with Eriksen in the centre of the park. The duo has given a robust base in midfield to build on for Ten Hag, whose side have gone into the World Cup break fifth on the table.
However, with Casemiro and Eriksen both on the wrong side of 30, Fred’s contract expiring at the end of the season and chances of Donny Van de Beek being offloaded, Ten Hag could do with a young and dynamic central midfielder. Declan Rice, in that regard, would be perfect for the Red Devils.
Despite West Ham struggling towards the bottom of the Premier League, Rice has done his bit this season. The Englishman has given a good account of himself in the middle of the park, averaging 2.4 tackles, 1.6 interceptions, 1.3 clearances, 1.2 shots, 1.3 key passes and 0.5 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Premier League. He has been a solid distributor of the ball too, as demonstrated by a healthy pass completion rate of 90.4% (Stats courtesy: WhoScored).
One of the best defensive midfielders in the English top flight, Declan Rice excels in winning the ball with his tackling and interception skills before initiating attacks for his team from midfield. The England international is a good striker of the ball and can make some late runs toward the opposition’s penalty box. He is a vocal leader on the pitch and someone who fights until the final blow of the whistle.
While he is a defensive midfielder, Rice could be groomed into a more rounded midfield player under the watchful eyes of Ten Hag. Ideally, he should be a smashing long-term replacement for Casemiro while being an upgrade on Fred.
At 23, Declan Rice has a long future ahead of him, and Man United could make a fantastic long-term investment by signing him from West Ham next summer.