Speaking to Football Insider, Noel Whelan has tipped Declan Rice as ‘ready’ to complete a move to Manchester United, following his ‘consistently good’ performances for West Ham.
The Lowdown: Man United handed boost in Rice pursuit
Following the Irons’ 3-2 win over Crystal Palace, Rice became the youngest ever player to make 150 Premier League appearances for West Ham. The vice-captain received huge praise for this achievement, having placed himself as an integral component of David Moyes’ seemingly ever-improving. Premier League legend Roy Keane has even claimed that the 22-year-old is ‘way ahead’ of where he was in his career at the same age.
However, with such consistent talent on display, this has led to interest from the Premier League giants – with Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City all interested in the midfielder.
According to The Star (via Eurosport), Ralf Rangnick is keen on signing a central midfielder in the summer and there is optimism at Old Trafford that they could secure the services of the 22-year-old if West Ham fail to qualify for the Champions League next season.
The Latest: Rice an upgrade on Pogba
A West Ham source has told Football Insider that Rice is now valued at £90m following the player’s rejection of a new contract.
And speaking to FI following that news, former Leeds striker Whelan has claimed that the Hammers midfielder would be an upgrade on Man United’s Paul Pogba.
“They might be confident of getting him, but they certainly won’t be getting a discount – that’s for sure,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.
“A player of his calibre demands a huge amount of money. It’s as simple as that. Declan Rice is a superstar and ready to play for Man United, Man City – any team in the Premier League.
“He’s been consistently good for a number of seasons, captain for West Ham. He’d be perfect for a number of top sides.
“If it is Man United, they’ll get a lot more out of him than they have out of Pogba. That is guaranteed.
“West Ham won’t be willing to let him go for less even if they finish outside those European spots. It’s just not going to happen.”
The Verdict: Rice would be phenomenal for any PL side
According to SofaScore, Rice has been West Ham’s most valuable player this season, having averaged a 7.26 match rating. It could certainly be argued that the England international would be a no brainer signing for any Premier League team who can afford him, with even Pep Guardiola admitting that he is an ‘exceptional player’.
Current Champions League superstar and former Hammers teammate Sebastien Haller has also hailed Rice’s praises, claiming that he has the ‘potential to become world class’, as he ‘has everything’.
Therefore, it is clear that Rice would be a fantastic signing for this Red Devils side, who currently lack a strong presence in the midfield area. However, whether a move to Manchester would be right choice for Rice, is another story altogether.
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