Declan Rice has become a West Ham hero… but these THREE clubs could soon sign him

Declan Rice has become a West Ham hero… but these THREE clubs could soon sign him

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Declan Rice is a likely transfer target for the Premier League’s big boys this summer (Pic: GETTY/ REUTERS)

The West Ham star signed a new contract committing his future to the Hammers until 2024 in December and insists he is happy at London Stadium.

But Rice already has plenty of suitors weighing up a move for him. Here, Starsport looks at three clubs who could make a summer push for the 20-year-old midfielder.

MANCHESTER CITY

Always on the look-out for young talent, City have watched Rice with interest over the last few months.

In a squad jam-packed with quality, perhaps the one area of weakness is in defensive midfield, where the cupboard has looked bare at times when Fernandinho is absent.

When he missed his first two Premier League games of the season with a thigh injury, City lost them both, to Crystal Palace and Leicester City.

They have even tried defender John Stones in there at times this season but it’s not an experiment that has looked at all convincing.

And with Ilkay Gundogan’s future up in the air and Fernandinho now 33, it’s an area of the pitch Pep Guardiola will undoubtedly want to address long term.

Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini has been telling Rice to watch film of Fernandinho, but he could learn from the man himself if he were to join City.

He already has the anticipation, awareness and technical quality Guardiola admires in a player, and has shown this season he has Fernandinho’s instinct for being in the right place at the right time defensively too.

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Declan Rice could be snapped up by Man City this summer (Pic: AFP)

A transfer ban would obviously make this all irrelevant, but if the opportunity is there don’t be surprised if City are making enquiries about Rice this summer.

MANCHESTER UNITED

United’s midfield looks in dire need of a shake-up.

Marouane Fellaini has left, Nemanja Matic is the wrong side of 30 and badly out of form, and Fred has failed miserably to live up to the hype.

United do have rising star Scott McTominay, who has begun to shine in recent weeks again at times for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

But Rice would be an upgrade on McTominay in a holding role and at just 20 he is two years younger than the Scotland star.

Whether Solskjaer would want to risk hindering McTominay’s development by bringing in a rival like Rice remains to be seen.

But he has the quality and temperament to succeed at Old Trafford and his value is only going to increase once he starts playing regularly for England.

TOTTENHAM

Mauricio Pochettino has been an admirer of Rice for some time and he is just the right profile for Spurs – young, hard-working and technically excellent.

A move to the new White Hart Lane would ironically pit Rice against two of his biggest rivals for a starting spot in the England midfield in Eric Dier and Harry Winks.

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Declan Rice would fit in well at West Ham’s bitter rivals Tottenham (Pic: WEST HAM UNITED)

Dier has missed a lot of games this season through injury, leaving Winks and a rejuvenated Moussa Sissoko to run the Spurs midfield.

But Rice would offer Pochettino a slightly different option to all three of them.

He is a more incisive and forward-thinking passer than Dier, and has much better defensive instincts than Winks or Sissoko.

Pochettino’s track record at improving young players and turning them into regulars for club and country could also appeal to Rice.

But there would surely be uproar if West Ham were to sell their best young player to such a close rival, making this one hard to see happening.

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