Manchester United are reportedly keen to sign West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice next summer as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to add the finishing touches to his new engine room.
According to ESPN, the Red Devils are interested in securing the highly-rated 22-year-old’s signature in 12 months’ time after prioritising different positions in the recently concluded window.
The report states that: “Sources have told ESPN that a striker and a midfielder are on the list ahead of next summer with England international Rice among a number of options that will be narrowed down over the course of the next 12 months.
“It is likely West Ham would have to lower their valuation of the 22-year-old — who is under contract until 2024 — which has stood at more than £80 million.”
After making his first-team debut back in 2017, Rice has become an integral part of West Ham’s side in recent years, scoring five goals and providing six assists in 148 appearances for the capital club.
The England international’s standout displays have caught the eye of several impressed onlookers, including Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer.
“He’s still only 22, and this is what he does really well. I think he reads the game, he’s obviously got an excellent partnership with (Tomas) Soucek in the midfield,” said Shearer (as relayed by This is Futbol).
“He keeps it simple; he stops teams attacking, can play, can pass, breaks it up and then sets his team on the front foot. I think he’s an excellent player.”
Rice played a key role in West Ham’s magnificent sixth-place finish last term, and despite his tender years, has assumed the role of the on-pitch captain due to Mark Noble’s limited playing time.
The youngster’s maturity, ability to break up opposition attacks and kickstart ones of his own make him an extremely exciting prospect for any top team, but it’s arguably United who need him most.
Solskjaer has often fielded a double pivot of Scott McTominay and Fred at the base of his midfield at the expense of a more attack-minded player, but Rice’s arrival would potentially change that, and that would be music to the ears of United supporters.