Failure to reach a top-four spot upon the conclusion of the season could scupper West Ham’s chances of keeping hold of Declan Rice, with Manchester United reportedly ready in waiting.
It is understood by The Sun that Ralf Rangnick is looking to press on with the capture of the midfielder in the summer – but it will take a huge £100million for the Hammer’s to let one of their key players leave.
Calls for United to bolster their central midfield have been going on for over a year. During the summer window, it was winger Jadon Sancho and centre-back Raphael Varane who came into the side and they ultimately failed to capture anyone for the middle of the pitch.
The form of Paul Pogba is mercurial while Scott McTominay and Fred equally have led to frustration for United supporters who see the side as imbalanced and penetrable.
Rice, of course, meets a huge bunch of requirements and any potential transfer for him would widely be seen as failsafe, the 22-year-old being one of the standout performers of the Premier League this season.
David Moyes will no doubt be vying to keep hold of Rice but his leverage will weaken if West Ham do not obtain a place in Europe’s elite competition next season.
December has been cruel to West Ham and their form has started to stutter. They did beat Crystal Palace 3-2 on Saturday to put them in fifth place but there’s still a long way to go.
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It’s reported that United will bide their time in capturing Rice and wait until the end of the season before lodging any bid for him.
If successful, the idea is to mould the system around him – but not only would they have to persuade the player to join, they must also fend off interest from Manchester City and Chelsea as well.
West Ham have maintained that Rice is not for sale and wish themselves to build a side around the talisman – but of course, every player has their price.
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