West Ham will demand £100m for Declan Rice in an attempt to dissuade Manchester United from making a move for the midfielder.
The England international has enjoyed a fine start to the season, helping Manuel Pellegrini’s men to a place in the top three of the Premier League after seven games.
Rice’s excellent form has not escaped the attention of Manchester United, who will look to strengthen their squad when the transfer window reopens in January.
Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, United have focused their recruitment on younger British players, with Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James all moving to Old Trafford in the summer.
And with the club set to keep faith with that policy, the 20-year-old Rice is a natural target.
The West Ham (opens in new tab) academy product made his senior debut for the club in 2017 and was initially deployed as a centre-half in a back three by David Moyes.
He was then moved forward into a holding midfield role when Pellegrini took charge at the London Stadium in summer 2018.
Rice excelled in that role and won the Players’ Player of the Year award at West Ham, as well as a place on the shortlist for the PFA Young Player of the Year prize.
And after continuing in a similar vein at the start of this term, United have made him a potential transfer target for January or next summer.
But according to the Daily Express (opens in new tab), West Ham will demand a British record £100m before sanctioning the sale of one of their prized assets.
That price tag will make United think twice about launching a move for the Englishman, although they did pay a world-record fee for a defender in acquiring Harry Maguire for £80m in August.
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Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).
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