Newcastle: Magpies backed to seal Declan Rice signing
Newcastle United could complete the signing of West Ham and England star Declan Rice this summer, according to former top flight goalkeeper Paul Robinson.
The Lowdown: Rice linked with Newcastle move
The 24-year-old has blossomed into one of the most impressive midfielders in the Premier League in recent years, also becoming an undisputed key man for England.
It looks increasingly likely that Rice will exit West Ham at the end of this season, with a bigger challenge required for a footballer of his elite current standing.
Newcastle have been linked with a move for the Englishman in the past and they could return for him in the summer.
The Latest: Robinson backs signing
Speaking to Football Insider, Sky Sports pundit Robinson said he could see a scenario where Rice opts to move to St James’ Park:
“I could see Rice at Newcastle. I think it is an attractive project for any player right now.
“Rice looks like he is going to leave in the summer. He is not going to sign a new contract so West Ham will have to cash in at some point.
“There is a lot of talk surrounding him and Arsenal but Arsenal have just signed Jorginho. If Newcastle get European football, I think that would be enough of a pull.
“Everyone can see the way the club is going. The wages will not be a problem. They can offer Rice everything that he wants. I think Newcastle would be a very tempting proposition for Declan Rice come the summer.”
The Verdict: Game-changing addition
Rice could be a fantastic signing for Newcastle, proving to be a significant upgrade on someone like Sean Longstaff, even though the latter has been excellent this season.
The West Ham captain has averaged 2.3 tackles per game in the league this season – Longstaff is averaging 1.2 – and he could be a player who takes the Magpies to that next level, ranking highly in a number of key metrics for midfielders, including interceptions, clearances and pass completion (FBRef).
Rice would cost huge money, without question – he has been described as a ‘top, top player’ by Joe Cole – but the funds are there for Newcastle to spend big and Champions League qualification would only further their chances of snapping him up.