Man Utd and Chelsea transfer target Declan Rice tells friends his preferred next club

Declan Rice will be 'held back' at West Ham says pundit

Manchester United target Declan Rice would prefer to join Chelsea when the transfer window reopens at the end of the season, according to reports. The England international is wanted by both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard amid his impressive form for West Ham. Rice has made 17 Premier League appearances this term, helping his side to tenth in the Premier League table.

United are well-stocked in midfield at present.

But, despite having Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Donny van de Beek, Nemanja Matic, Fred and Scott McTominay shining, Solskjaer is keen on Rice.

The West Ham star has enhanced his reputation as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League this term, helping the Hammers impress under David Moyes.

But while United want Rice, The Mirror claim the England international has told friends he’d prefer to stay in London with Chelsea.

A source is quoted as saying: “Dec has been flattered by interest in him but he doesn’t see himself moving to Manchester.

“It’s obvious where he’d like his next move to be.”

Rice is said to feel he’s got unfinished business at Chelsea, who he left earlier in his career.

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He’s close to Blues midfielder Mason Mount and would relish the chance to play under Lampard, a childhood icon.

West Ham, however, won’t let him go on the cheap.

The Hammers are determined to land a massive £80million for the 21-year-old, money that would make him one of the most-expensive Premier League players other.

And whether Chelsea or United attempt to meet that huge asking price is something only time will tell.

Meanwhile, West Ham hero Tony Cottee believes his old side should give Rice a lengthy contract and promise him the captaincy to ensure he stays put.

Mark Noble is the current skipper over at the London Stadium, but the midfielder is approaching the twilight years of his career.

And Cottee said: “As far as I’m concerned the only two signings to be bothered about are David Moyes and Declan.

“I’m pretty sure that even now, with his elevated status, Dec will not be earning the same kind of money as the top men in the squad.

“But he’s their most valuable player and in time will become the next captain after Mark Noble.

“I know he signed a five-year deal not so long ago but get him tied down and up there with the bigger earners and make him a bedrock of the future team.

“We all know other teams are interested. West Ham should be acting to secure Declan, so he is not allowed to drift into the last two years of his contract and possibly leave on a free transfer.”

Cotten then added: “I assume David is going to try to sign players during this transfer window on three or four-year deals.

“As a player, I would find it a bit unsettling signing for a coach who could be gone by the summer.

“It’s baffling why something hasn’t been done already to get Moyes tied down to a new deal.

“Moyes is building a team. I like what he is doing, he has proven to be a good fit.

“West Ham should be moving slowly and steadily in one direction, upwards. The yo-yoing needs to stop.

“By the end of the 2020s, West Ham needs to be established as a top-ten club.

“I hope the board can see the positive effect Moyes is having on this.”

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