Long-standing Manchester United target Declan Rice could be set to leave West Ham United in 2023, with the player himself dropping the hint while on England duty at the Qatar World Cup.
The midfielder did nothing to dampen the rumours surrounding his future during a press conference, saying, “I see my friends who play in the Champions League, winning the big trophies.
“You only get one career and at the end of your career you want to look at what you’ve won.”
Reliable reporter Fabrizio Romano added yet more fuel to the fire by tweeted that the “Expectation is for Rice to leave West Ham in 2023.”
Declan Rice: “I see my friends who play in the Champions League, winning the big trophies. You only get one career and at the end of your career you want to look at what you've won”. 🏴
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 1, 2022
While a January move is unlikely, Rice could cause something of a bidding war in the summer, with a number of top European clubs monitoring the situation.
As reported by The Peoples Person, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are interested, while Chelsea are also known to be long time admirers.
Despite Rice’s contract expiring in 2024, it is thought that West Ham would be looking for a fee in excess of €100m to part with their captain.
Whether or not United would be able to commit such a fee to sign the midfielder is as of yet unclear, but with the player reportedly unhappy with his team’s disappointing season and publicly opening the door for a potential transfer, the Red Devils will certainly be alert to the situation.
Declan Rice typically plays as a sitting midfielder for England but has shown fantastic developments in his game at club level.
For West Ham he usually operates in more of a box-to-box role, with his dependable passing and ball-carrying ability invaluable to his team.
For United he could forge a fine partnership with Casemiro and would likely relish the opportunity to learn from a midfielder hailed by the likes of Neymar and Christian Eriksen as the best around.
The Red Devils lack depth in several areas of the pitch and Rice’s ability to slot into either Casemiro or Eriksen’s roles would be a huge boost to Erik ten Hag’s capacity to rotate his squad.
Of course, Man United will almost certainly need to qualify for next season’s Champions League if they are to compete with the likes of Bayern and Madrid, and even then Chelsea may well be the most likely destination as the Blues look to rebuild their midfield.