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Declan Rice has gathered plenty of admirers in his brief career so far. The midfielder is currently starring for club and country.
At just 23, he already captains his beloved West Ham. And according to the Mirror, he could be handed the armband for his nation at some stage in the near future.
His international career is, therefore, set in stone. He looks set to be a key player under Gareth Southgate in the upcoming World Cup.
But Rice’s club situation is definitely not as stable. His outstanding performances for the Hammers have caught the eye of some of England’s biggest teams.
But which Premier League giant would best suit the young midfielder?
Man Utd in pole position to land Declan Rice?
It’s no secret that Manchester United have been seeking a top defensive midfielder for quite some time. And Rice is exactly the kind of player they need. Capable of keeping possession, stopping opposition attackers, and driving the ball forward, Rice ticks all of the boxes.
Man United have previously been linked with the likes of Aurélien Tchouaméni and Eduardo Camavinga. The former has many suitors across Europe’s top leagues, while the latter recently made a move to Real Madrid.
That could leave United with Rice as their main priority. The midfielder certainly knows the league well, and would be guaranteed a starting role at Old Trafford. Many supporters – and indeed any new boss – would see Rice as an improvement on the current options.
Moreover, United could lose a midfielder in Paul Pogba. The France international has occupied a defensive midfield role in his time at the club. The Manchester outfit would certainly want a replacement for Pogba should he leave this summer.
The main issue, however, is that Man United may not achieve Champions League qualification. Rice has openly admitted that this is a major ambition of his. And that is where former club Chelsea could come into play.
Can Chelsea recover and land Hammers midfielder?
Rice spent eight years at Chelsea in his youth. He played alongside the likes of current Blues stars Reece James and Mason Mount. The trio have since been reunited at international level.
But that could soon turn to club level too. West Ham are also chasing fourth spot, but it looks certain that Chelsea will be in next season’s Champions League. Again, that is a major attraction for Rice, as it is for any top player.
The north London outfit do, however, have a major issue on their hands. The current trouble surrounding the club’s ownership could prove a huge problem when the transfer window arrives.
The issue remains uncertain, but the Blues will more than likely show an interest in Rice if they are given the all clear this summer.
While he would finally play Champions League football, Rice would certainly have to battle it out for a regular starting role. The Blues boast several talented midfielders, all eyeing for regular game time under Thomas Tuchel.
West Ham supporters will, of course, hope for one last Champions League push in a bid to persuade their skipper to stay. Whether this happens through fourth place, or the Europa League trophy, Hammers fans won’t care one bit.