Manchester United are ‘hopeful’ of signing Declan Rice from West Ham United in the summer.
That is according to Football Insider, who claim that the England star has privately expressed a desire to stay in London should he move.
But United have not been put off by that and believe they can persuade Rice to make the move north to Old Trafford.
The midfielder’s current contract expires in 2024, although West Ham do have the option to trigger a twelve-month extension on top of that.
But Rice has already rejected several offers to extend his deal, including an eight-year contract worth £83m that would have made him the best-paid player in their club’s history.
Naturally, that has prompted speculation that he will change clubs in the next transfer window.
Rice is said to be ‘dead set’ on a move this summer and he is thought to be one of the most sought-after players in world football.
The Red Devils have been heavily linked with Rice for years, but in recent months Arsenal are thought to have become the midfielder’s most likely destination.
Given the player’s preference to remain in London, the Gunners do perhaps stand the best chance of signing Rice in the summer.
Both clubs will need to negotiate a compromise with West Ham over price, however, with the Hammers having valued Rice at around £150m in the past.
That figure will need to come down some in order for Rice to get his move.
In any case, Declan Rice could well end up being one of the biggest transfer sagas of summer 2023.