Pep Guardiola has plenty of promising young talents to keep a close eye on at Manchester City in the years to come, but a recent report from Sports Witness suggests that he could add another teenage star to his ranks this summer.
According to the report, West Ham have had a 22 million euro bid rejected for one of the standout performers of the World Cup, namely Domagoj Vida.
But hope is not yet lost for the Hammers as the report claims that Besiktas are willing to accept a bid worth 25 million euros (£22 million) for his services this summer.
Although the arrival of Vida will undoubtedly give West Ham a boost ahead of the new season, Manuel Pellegrini must consider that the arrival of another centre-back could pave the way for Declan Rice to leave the club this summer, with Manchester City a plausible destination.
Rice was relatively unknown at this time last year, but in the space of a single season he rapidly established himself as a West Ham regular and was widely tipped for future captaincy by fans and pundits alike.
Whether he was deployed at centre-back or in a defensive midfield role, Rice was willing to throw everything on the line for the club and he consistently provided a solid defensive presence despite his lack of experience at senior level.
But the arrival of Issa Diop has raised question marks over his future at the London Stadium, and the signing of Vida could represent the final nail in the coffin for the incredibly bright academy product.
Enter Man City: a club who have failed miserably in their bid to sign a new defensive midfielder so far this summer and are always on the look out for new talent.
With just 1-year remaining on Rice’s current deal, City should be able to secure the signing of Rice on a cut-price deal and, with both Vincent Kompany’s injury record to consider and their ongoing search for a new defensive midfielder, the 19-year-old represents an ideal talent to add to their defensive options.
Rice has demonstrated a confidence and willingness to play out from defence during his short career so far – a quality which will have caught Guardiola’s eye.
On the evidence of his performances last season it appears that Rice possesses the mental and technical quality to grow into one of the Premier League’s finest defenders in the years to come and, under a coach of Guardiola’s expertise, he would be perfectly-placed to realise the full extent of his potential.
If the hierarchy at Man City manage to recognise this rare opportunity and Rice is willing to bide his time for first-team opportunities with the Premier League champions, a potential deal could well be on the cards this summer.
Manchester City fans – thoughts? Let us know below!