Manchester City sizing up summer move for Hammers midfield star Declan Rice
Manchester City are deliberating whether or not to make a move for Declan Rice, but are wary of being dragged into another Harry Kane-style summer transfer saga.
With the signing of Erling Haaland all but complete, City’s other big recruitment decision is whether or not to spend big on a replacement for Fernandinho. Rice is believed to be high on City’s radar, but West Ham United’s claim that the England international would cost £150m (€178.3m) threatens to put off a number of his suitors.
Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel last week admitted that the figures quoted for Rice could be too high for his club and City are highly unlikely to pay anywhere near £150m for the 23-year-old.
Rice has rejected three contract offers from West Ham and, contrary to the claim of David Moyes that the player may simply be after more money, his motivation is thought to be a desire to play in the Champions League and win trophies.
He may yet do that at West Ham and were the club to progress past their semi-final tie against Eintracht Frankfurt and win the Europa League, which would secure qualification to the Champions League, then Rice is likely to stay put for another season.
Rice’s situation is not too dissimilar to that of his England team-mate Kane last summer, when City were eventually forced to concede defeat in their pursuit of him.
Kane had three years remaining on his Spurs contract last summer and Rice’s contract currently has two years left to run with West Ham holding the option of extending it by a further 12 months.
West Ham are determined to do everything in their power to keep Rice this summer, unless a huge offer is made, with the feeling around the club being that next summer might be the time they are forced to cash in.
City had been hopeful of landing both Kane and Jack Grealish, but Tottenham refused to do business over their star player following a summer of speculation, manoeuvring and, ultimately, fruitless negotiations.
The signings of Grealish for £100m and Haaland, who will cost £63m, were relatively straightforward as City were able to meet the release clauses of both players. That strategy is preferable for a club who, because of their wealth, are often quoted ridiculous fees for players.
As well as City and Chelsea, Manchester United have a long-standing interest in Rice, who also has admirers overseas.
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