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Manchester United transfer news: Red Devils could have free run at Declan Rice

Declan Rice
(Image credit: PA)

West Ham are confident that Chelsea will no longer target Declan Rice following Frank Lampard’s exit.

Lampard was sacked as Blues boss on Monday after overseeing a run of just two wins in eight Premier League matches.

Thomas Tuchel has been installed as his replacement, with the German set to take charge of his first game against Wolves on Wednesday.

Rice has been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge since the summer.

Chelsea’s interest was said to be driven by Lampard, who viewed the holding midfielder as a potential long-term option at centre-back.

The board refused to sanction a move for Rice unless the proceeds were raised from player sales.

It has been claimed that key figures at Chelsea believed the signing of Rice, who was let go by the Blues’ academy as a youngster, would be embarrassing for the club.

And according to the Daily Telegraph, West Ham hope their London rivals will now drop their interest in the England international.

That could be good news for Manchester United, who have also been linked with the 22-year-old in recent weeks.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are said to be keen on the youngster, who is enjoying an excellent season at the London Stadium.

Rice will not come cheap, though, with West Ham valuing their prized asset at £80m.

The midfielder was excellent in Tuesday’s 3-2 victory over Crystal Palace, a result which moved David Moyes’ men up to fourth place in the Premier League table.

Manchester United, meanwhile, dropped to second after Manchester City’s 5-0 thrashing of West Brom at The Hawthorns.

Solskjaer’s charges have the chance to return to the summit of the standings on Thursday.

Victory over Sheffield United at Old Trafford would return the Red Devils to top spot ahead of Saturday’s meeting with in-form Arsenal.

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