Man Utd tipped to sign Declan Rice for ‘above £90million’ in January transfer window | Football | Sport
Manchester United have “every chance” of signing West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, according to Noel Whelan.
United were interested in the Hammers ace last summer but opted not to test the east Londoners’ resolve.
West Ham, however, were adamant they wouldn’t part company with the 20-year-old, who was one of their star performers last season.
United didn’t strengthen their midfield in the summer transfer window, so they could be tempted to renew their interest in Rice in January.
Whelan is a big fan of the youngster and believes he could potentially move to Old Trafford in a record Premier League move.
“West Ham have got a really special player on their hands,” the former Leeds United and Coventry City hitman told Football Insider. “They will struggled to hold on to him, because the big clubs will be hot on his trail.
“I think Declan Rice could be the next player who goes for a Premier League record fee. We have just seen Harry Maguire go for £80million and I wouldn’t be surprised if Rice goes for more than that, above £90million, even.
“He’s young, English, hugely talented and is such a long way from his peak. You look at a team like Man United, who need a midfield anchorman and you can see it happening.
“They don’t mind paying over the odds for a player, as we saw in the summer. I could see them looking to get Rice in January.”
One man who thinks Rice should stay put is West Ham hero Frank McAvennie, who reckons the midfielder wouldn’t be guaranteed to win silverware if he joined the Red Devils.
“He doesn’t have to go anywhere with the money West Ham pay their players now,” the Scot said during an appearance on Love Sport Radio.
“If he wants to go to Man United for trophies, they might be a bigger club but they’re not going to win any trophies in the foreseeable future.
“I wouldn’t expect him to move on. I don’t think he’s ready for the big clubs yet, or so-called big ones. I think he’s doing wonderful [at West Ham]. He started at centre-half and now he’s a great foil for the captain [Mark] Noble.
“I think West Ham have got some wonderful players in midfield like [Felipe] Anderson, [Andriy] Yarmolenko and [Manuel] Lanzini.
“I just think they’ve got firepower in midfield but they need someone up front, a figure that is going to take them forward. Rice sits there in the middle and he will be there for England and West Ham for many years, I’m hoping.”
Rice and his West Ham team-mates will be back in action on Monday night, travelling to Birmingham to take on Aston Villa.