West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice is attracting increasing interest in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a report by The Sun, who claim that Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have been handed a boost in their £100m pursuit of the 22-year-old as a result of West Ham’s poor form in December.
The report goes on to state that all three clubs, particularly Manchester United, had genuine concerns that David Moyes’ side could ruin their chances of securing a deal for the defensive midfielder by qualifying for a Champions League spot this season.
However, it is now said that, despite West Ham’s recent back-to-back wins over Watford and Crystal Palace, the Irons’ poor Christmas form has badly damaged the club’s chances of finishing in the top four come next May, something that would make Rice’s exit extremely likely.
Finally, it is revealed that United have already started putting in the groundwork regarding a move for the England international this summer, with a big bid expected to be launched by Ralf Rangnick’s side at the end of the current campaign.
Considering just how important a part of the West Ham side Rice has become in recent seasons, the idea of the midfielder’s departure at the end of the current campaign is undoubtedly one that will leave the London Stadium faithful outraged.
Indeed, over his 19 Premier League appearances this term, the £67.5m-rated man has highly impressed for the Hammers, scoring one goal, registering four assists and creating two big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 0.7 shots and making 0.8 key passes per game.
The £62k-per-week defensive midfielder has also impressed in metrics more typical of his position, making an average of 1.8 interceptions, 2.3 tackles, 50.3 passes and winning 57% of his duels per fixture.
These returns have seen the player who Teddy Sheringham claimed is “invaluable” for West Ham average a rather astonishing SofaScore match rating of 7.26, not only ranking him as David Moyes’ best performer in the top flight, but also as the joint 19th-best player in the entirety of the division.
However, while The Sun are quite clearly of the belief that West Ham are out of the top four race following their poor run of results in December, we are not so sure that the club’s chances of securing Champions League football next season are over just yet – as the East London side are currently just one point behind Arsenal in fourth place, in addition to very much being in with a chance of winning this season’s Europa League.