West Ham aren’t messing around with Rice valuation, but grass isn’t always greener

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According to The Sun, West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice would cost around £70m if Manchester City wanted to sign him this summer, but the Irons are running a big risk if those demands are true.

What’s the word, then?

Well, The Sun report that the 20-year-old is one of three young English players that Pep Guardiola is keen to bring to the Etihad Stadium during the next transfer window, with the man who has now pledged his allegiance to England internationally valued at around £70m.

The Sun report that the Premier League champions see the London-born starlet as their long-term replacement for Fernandinho, and that is no surprise given some of the strong performances he has produced for Manuel Pellegrini’s men in a defensive midfield role this term.

While receiving that amount for a player that can’t make a difference in terms of goals and assists would obviously be something not to be sniffed at, there is proof that the grass isn’t always greener.

Why’s that?

You only have to look at Southampton to see how business that can look great on paper can quickly go horribly wrong.

Saints agreed to sell Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool for a world-record fee (£75m) for a defender in December 2017, and while they would have been gutted to lose the Dutchman they also would have been confident of significantly strengthening their squad as a whole with the money.

Instead, they appear to have thrown more money down the drain bringing in the likes of Guido Carrillo and Mohamed Elyounoussi for large fees, with both so far failing to make the grade at St Mary’s.

The south coast outfit now find themselves in another relegation battle and there is always a risk that West Ham’s business could go wrong too should they cash in on their prized asset.

Lessons need to be learned and selling Rice even for that price would be a risk, and one they shouldn’t take no matter what money is on the table.