Manchester City are reportedly still keen on West Ham United’s Declan Rice and the Englishman could be the ideal replacement for Fernandinho in Pep Guardiola’s side at the Etihad.
According to The Times, Manchester City are still keen on the England international although West Ham are likely to demand £100m for their talismanic midfielder.
Whilst Fernandinho emphasised just how good he still is towards the end of the season, the 36-year-old only committed to a new one-year deal after the season had ended and it seems likely that he will either leave City or retire at the end of the current campaign.
Even if the veteran Brazilian remains after that he cannot be expected to control City’s midfield for the long-term future and therefore it seems clear that a replacement is needed.
Whilst Rodri was brought in as the natural successor to the former Shakhtar Donetsk man in midfield, he has disappointed at times during his spell at the Etihad and lost his regular spot in the starting eleven in key fixtures last season, with Fernandinho notably dropping a masterclass in both legs against PSG in the Champions League semi-final.
Therefore, it is no surprise that they are being linked with Rice, who has established himself as a key player for club and country despite being just 22-years-old.
The midfielder has already made 147 appearances for the senior side at West Ham, in which he has contributed five goals and seven assists, and he was a driving force in David Moyes’ side last season as they qualified for the Europa League.
The former Chelsea youngster would make 32 appearances in the top-flight, contributing two goals and one assist and averaging a solid 7.02 rating for his performances from WhoScored, whilst he has also started this season in impressive fashion for the Hammers.
Moyes was full of praise for Rice last season, saying: “He is such an improved player. I really think he is doing a great job as a player and we are building up hope that he will be an outstanding captain.
“The role, his responsibility he takes on the pitch because of his young age, his leadership qualities will build. He has learned from Harry Kane and Mark Noble.”
Therefore, the Englishman clearly has potential as a captain and would therefore be the dream replacement for Fernandinho, as the Brazilian’s impact both on and off the pitch will surely be missed when he eventually leaves Manchester City.
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