Declan Rice comments indicate Manchester United should change priority

Declan Rice will likely be the latest England talent to be targeted by the Premier League’s big-hitters this summer, with reports already linking the midfielder with a move away from West Ham.

The 23-year-old still has a little more than two years left on his deal at the London Stadium but is deemed unlikely to see it out due to the increased interest in him. Jack Grealish experienced a similar situation last year after starring at Euro 2020 following an impressive season at Aston Villa.

He was eventually snapped up by Manchester City for a British record fee of £100million. But latest reports claim West Ham are hoping for £150m in return for Rice.

READ MORE: The five out-of-contract United players including Paul Pogba that are set to leave

While that fee may seem extortionate, it wouldn’t be beyond the reach of Manchester United’s finances. After all, the club — who have long earmarked Rice as a player of interest — forked out a combined total of around £125m for Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo last summer.

The reality is that West Ham will surely be unable to attract that kind of fee. However, what United should be more worried about are Rice’s recent comments when speaking on the latest episode of Gary Neville’s The Overlap. He made it crystal clear what he hopes to achieve in his career, and that includes Champions League success.

Talking to former United defender Neville, he said: “Me as a football fan, and also as a player, I want to win the best stuff. I want to win the Premier League — I want to lift that trophy.

“I also want to win the Champions League. I want to win the FA Cup and the League Cup, even stuff with England. I want to win it all.”

United are now outside contenders for Champions League qualification this term, currently sitting sixth and four points off fourth-place Arsenal who have a game in hand. A finish outside the top four may not bode well in United’s pursuit of their top targets.

What’s more, West Ham still have a long-shot chance to make the Champions League themselves. They are in the quarter-finals of the Europa League, where the winner of the competition gains a place in next season’s elite European competition.

But should Rice decide the way forward in his career is to move away from the London Stadium, then Chelsea may be the team he plays for next — should ownership of the club be running smoothly by the summer. The Blues also interested in the player they let go from their academy aged 14 and United may find they’re not in a position to attract Rice.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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