Crystal Palace are reportedly keen on bringing young West Ham United prospect Declan Rice to Selhurst Park, the Sun reports.
After the arrival of highly-rated Issa Diop to the London Stadium, it appears Rice being pushed down the West Ham pecking order and will not be an automatic starter under Manuel Pellegrini next season.
Crystal Palace and Bournemouth are mulling over bids for the Irish defender, who is valued at £9m by Transfermarkt. It is unclear whether Palace and Bournemouth will have to meet or exceed this price tag to snap up Rice this summer.
Although Rice has undoubtedly shown he is capable of cutting it at Premier League level, he has been solid whilst not setting the world alight. With Mamadou Sakho, Scott Dann and James Tomkins all experienced Premier League centre-backs, it is unlikely he will break into Roy Hodgson’s starting eleven.
Rice would clearly add some much needed cover, if injuries strike Palace this season in the same way they did the last, but the centre-back position is not the biggest area in which the Eagles need strengthening. A new central midfielder is paramount if Palace are to push on next season, as is a new forward option and a winger as cover for Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend. Valued at £9m, Rice would take a significant chunk out of Hodgson’s budget for some much needed reinforcements and the budget could be better used elsewhere in the squad.
If the 19-year-old aims to guarantee a starting spot, Selhurst Park is unlikely to be a destination that will suit either club or player.
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