Manchester United have been encouraged in their pursuit of Declan Rice after it emerged that he could be available for £90million next summer.
Rather than allow the 22-year-old to run down his current deal, which ends in June 2024, the Hammers will look to secure the biggest fee possible at the end of the season.
It’s believed that £90million should be enough to complete a deal for the England international, who played a key role in his country’s run to the final of Euro 2020.
His partnership with Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips shielded the back line and laid the foundations for an impressive defensive record, including five consecutive clean sheets to start the tournament.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer envisages Rice playing a similar holding role for Man United, liberating the more attack-minded Paul Pogba.
On Saturday, Fred and Scott McTominay didn’t look up to the task as Solskjaer’s side lost 1-0 to Aston Villa, with Bruno Fernandes missing a late penalty.
Although Rice is known to be Man United’s top midfield target, other clubs have taken a keen interest in his development.
Chelsea have previously expressed a desire to bring Rice back to Stamford Bridge after he was released by their academy as a teenager.
He made his breakthrough at West Ham instead, racking up more than 150 appearances for the club since his debut in May 2017.
Rice became a regular during David Moyes’ first spell as Hammers manager and has matured into a leader since his return, acting as captain in Mark Noble’s absence.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.