Manchester City ‘will weigh up move for West Ham star Declan Rice’ if captain Fernandinho chooses to leave at the end of the season – but may face competition with Manchester United and Chelsea also interested
- Manchester City are the latest club to be linked with a swoop for Declan Rice
- West Ham midfielder Rice is highly admired by Pep Guardiola and his staff
- The Times claim that City may move for him if Fernandinho exits this summer
- Boss Guardiola is said to be adamant a replacement for the captain is needed
Manchester City are considering whether to make a move for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice if Fernandinho leaves at the end of the season, according to reports.
Club captain Fernandinho, 36, will see his deal run down at the end of the next month and, while City are said to be open to tabling a 12-month extension, his future remains firmly up in the air.
As a result, as claimed by The Times, Rice may become a target this summer – although his hefty valuation may prove a stumbling block.
Manchester City will reportedly consider swooping for West Ham’s Declan Rice this summer
Fernandinho, who switched to the Etihad in 2013, delivered a stunning showing in the Champions League semi-final ties against Paris Saint-Germain and is an integral part of Pep Guardiola’s rampant team.
It is thought that the Brazil international will wait until the end of the campaign before making a decision over his future, however, and Guardiola is said to be keen to bring in a replacement.
The report says that Rice is one of ‘several options’ that the City boss and his coaching staff have discussed.
Pep Guardiola (right) moving for Rice may hinge on whether Fernandinho (left) leaves the club
Rice is said to be heavily admired at City although his price tag may prove a stumbling block
It has even been suggested that Guardiola is a big admirer of the 22-year-old.
But despite this, recent comments from West Ham manager David Moyes may see City’s potential approach for Rice become an uphill struggle.
Moyes previously said that it would take ‘Bank of England money’ to prise Rice away from the London Stadium and later doubled down on his stance by claiming his star man is worth ‘far, far more than £100million.’
City hold concerns that the price tag for Rice may simply be too high and the Premier League champions-in-waiting are unwilling to match it.
City are worried about the fees involved with David Moyes saying Rice is worth above £100m
The Times also point towards the competition that Rice would face at the heart of City’s midfield with Rodri beginning to flourish.
To further complicate matters, Chelsea and Manchester United are also understood to have held an interest in Rice.
It was reported last month that Rice asked United players about the club during their time together on international duty for England. The Old Trafford giants continue to keep a close eye on the situation.
Rice reportedly asked his England team-mates about Manchester United on international duty
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (left) may also look to try and bring in Rice this summer
According to the Manchester Evening News, Rice gleaned knowledge about United from Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw in the build-up to England’s World Cup qualifying triple-header.
The sacking of Frank Lampard in January may see Chelsea’s pursuit of their former academy starlet end, though, with the former Blues coach a driving force behind their attempts to sign him.
Meanwhile, although City are casting their eye towards strengthening for next season, they will win the top-flight title this weekend if they beat Chelsea.