Rice has recently reiterated his desire to play in the Champions League and with the Hammers arguably in a relegation battle in the Premier League this season, it seems unlikely that he will achieve that dream in David Moyes’ side.
Despite his contract only running until 2024, Moyes has made it clear that the Hammers won’t budge from their £150m valuation of the England international, who has been hugely impressive for both club and country over the past few years, which led Gary Lineker to label him “magnificent” in 2021.
Even in a struggling side, Rice stands out as the top performer at the London Stadium so far this campaign, with WhoScored awarding him a strong 6.92 average rating for his performances in the Premier League.
The young midfielder has averaged 2.4 tackles and 1.6 interceptions for West Ham in the top flight so far this season, both of which are more than any player in Man City’s squad has averaged, which emphasises the quality that he could add to Guardiola’s midfield.
On the rare occasions that the Citizens do lose the ball, Rice and Rodri could certainly be relied upon to quickly retrieve it, as they have recovered the ball 279 times between them so far this campaign.
Given that the former Atletico Madrid man, who has also been dubbed “magnificent,” is only 26, the two could easily form an incredible partnership in Manchester City’s midfield for the next six or seven years, and with Ilkay Gundogan seemingly likely to depart the Etihad in the near future, Rice could definitely step up as the German’s replacement.
Although the West Ham talisman won’t come cheap, the prospect of having two arguably world-class midfielders at the Etihad for the long-term future is surely an exciting prospect for Guardiola.
Therefore, he should do everything he can to ensure that, when Rice does complete his inevitable move to a club playing in the Champions League, he chooses the Etihad as his destination.