Hot property Declan Rice is back on the menu with the Irish Independent claiming Manchester United circling, but should West Ham United sell?
West Ham fans may have thought the transfer saga to be over when Declan Rice pledged his long-term future to the club late last year keeping him at the London Stadium until 2024 (as per Independent).
But it seems the ‘big’ clubs will not be deterred in their pursuit of one of the brightest talents in the country, and arguably the biggest of them all, Manchester United, is prime and ready to break the bank next window.
Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini conceded his club may need to sell if “the big teams decide to pay an important amount of money” for academy graduate Rice (via Sky Sports).
If the midfielder, who has recently switched his international allegiances, does eventually make the move to Old Trafford, how will this affect West Ham United?
Pro: Market funding
The most obvious benefit is, of course, financial. Manchester United have apparently handed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a huge transfer kitty this summer, with Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Antonio Valencia and Marcos Rojo all expected to leave the club to make way for Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, and Rice.
Generally speaking, the national papers tend to agree that a fee in excess of £50 million will be offered, which should be enough to constitute Pellegrini’s so-called “important amount of money”.
Should West Ham invest well, then they could easily find another player or two to fill the void. Think, Issa Diop, another standout performer this season, only cost the club £22 million when he joined from Toulouse last summer (as per BBC Sport). That means, at risk of oversimplifying the complex beast that is the transfer market, Pellegrini could sign two quality players for price of one Declan Rice.
Con: Reinforce identity as selling club
West Ham United have always been considered one of the talent producing greats – with the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick and, of course, Declan Rice all making their way into stardom via the doors of their illustrious academy. But none of the above actually reached their peak in claret and blue. Surely this is a little concerning?
Indeed, if the Hammers really want to enjoy the fruits of their labour, then they must challenge the footballing hierarchy and stand up for themselves in the market. Real ambition needs to be shown.
There are two sides to every coin and the Rice transfer very much appears that way. Yes, fighting off to ‘big’ teams would be a major transfer coup and a real statement of intent, but in the short term it probably wouldn’t benefit the side enough to warrant throwing away £50 million worth of building blocks for the future.
Maybe, when the club are riding for the European spots, they can start their David versus Goliath quests; until then, however, the money should be used wisely to acquire top quality talent. First stop: Rice replacement.
West Ham fans, how easily do you think your club can replace Rice? Let us know in the comments below…
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience