Manchester City FC

Manchester City eye Declan Rice as potential Fernandinho replacement

By Harry Symeou
May 6, 2021, 1:45 PM GMT+1
Declan Rice has been in fine form for West Ham United this season
Declan Rice has been in fine form for West Ham United this season / Pool/Getty Images
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Manchester City are considering a move for West Ham's Declan Rice as they begin to plan for life after Fernandinho.

The 36-year-old Brazilian produced an excellent display during City's Champions League semi-final second leg victory over Paris Saint-Germain on his birthday. However, his current deal at the Etihad is due to expire at the end of the campaign.

The Premier League champions-elect are reportedly willing to offer the midfielder a 12-month contract extension but the player wishes to wait before deciding whether he feels he can carry on.

According to the Times, Pep Guardiola and his staff have discussed a number of long-term replacements for Fernandinho, one of which is Rice.

The 22-year-old has played a key role in David Moyes' side who, after finishing 16th last season, find themselves in the race for a Champions League spot with four games to play. Rice has previously been linked with a big-money move to Chelsea and, having established himself as a regular in the England side, it's not surprising to learn that City have their eyes on him.

90min reported in April that Manchester United lead the pack of English clubs chasing Rice, but West Ham will not make a decision on his future until the end of the season.

Declan Rice
Declan Rice is currently out of action with injury / Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Given West Ham's current position and the midfielder's impressive form over the past couple of seasons, the Londoners would demand a hefty fee for their star man. The aforementioned report does suggest whether or not there will be an approach is dependent on what Fernandinho decides regarding his future.

While the Cityzens have plenty to focus on between now and the end of this season - including a Champions League final against Premier League rivals Chelsea - a new central midfielder to accompany the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Rodri is clearly on their agenda in the near future.

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