Liverpool have been linked with a move for Declan Rice over the last few months, and a new update has emerged on the club’s potential pursuit of the player now that the January transfer window has opened.
As per the report, the Merseyside giants are claimed to be preparing to make contact with Rice in order to understand his plans for the future, but they will need to compete with the player’s boyhood club Chelsea for his signature.
Transfer insider Graeme Bailey told the publication: “Rice has served West Ham well, but he is accepting that he needs to move on and so are West Ham – despite what may be said publicly.”
“And for me Rice is now ready and whilst a deal is not confirmed, at the moment I don’t see him going anywhere other than Chelsea. His beloved club from a youngster, I believe he has unfinished business at Stamford Bridge.”
“I do expect others to show an interest – Liverpool are going to be rebuilding their midfield and surely they will show an interest.”
There is no doubt that the England international could be a game-changer in midfield for Jurgen Klopp if the powers at Anfield could secure a deal for the Irons captain in 2023.
A revamp is much-needed in midfield after the signing of Cody Gakpo completed the rebuild of the Liverpool forward line alongside Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz, who both joined the club over the last 12 months.
Liverpool have a number of midfielders who are either out of contract at the end of the season or well into their 30s and reaching the latter stages of their careers, proving that there is certainly an opportunity approaching to build the next generation to lead the team from the heart of midfield.
Rice has been one of the hottest young prospects in the Premier League over the last few seasons whilst polishing his craft at West Ham and becoming a key player in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
In 18 league appearances this season, the 23-year-old – who was dubbed “superb” and a “special talent” by journalist Sam Inkersole – has scored one goal, registered two assists and tallied a 90% pass completion rate.
He has also averaged 1.2 key passes, 1.6 interceptions, 2.3 tackles, 1.2 clearances and four successful duels per game, proving that he is both an attacking threat and defensively sound in his central position.
Indeed, Rice would be a great piece of business in Liverpool’s pursuit to improve. However, with a reported £150m transfer valuation, it would be a testament to the club’s desperation to improve their midfield should they be happy to meet that fee in the coming weeks and months, especially with Jude Bellingham also named as a top target for the Reds.
Although signing Rice would give Liverpool a talented midfielder who could become a huge presence for years to come at Anfield, FSG have not seemed all that keen to pay over the odds for a player in their time at Anfield, so it would be interesting to see if they will continue to pursue the 23-year-old this month.