Tottenham Hotspur are interested in West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, following reports this week also linking Chelsea and others with the England international.
Rice, who was a Chelsea academy player for eight years until his release at the age of 15, has been linked with a high profile move away from West Ham virtually ever since he established himself as a first-team regular in east London in 2017.
The defensive shield has since stepped up to senior international level with England after deciding to formally switch his allegiance from the Republic of Ireland.
West Ham have struggled on the pitch this season and are suffering off it due to the coronavirus crisis. Rather than a long-term vision be built around Rice, there have been suggestions that he could be sacrificed by the club to help fund a squad overhaul.
90min has been told that Spurs are interested in the 21-year-old. What’s more, they could even offer Eric Dier as some sort of part-exchange to entice the Hammers.
Previously an automatic pick for both club and country, Dier has struggled with his health and fitness over the last year after undergoing surgery to treat appendicitis in December 2018.
The Sun has described Chelsea as ‘keen’ to re-sign Rice. The newspaper cites Hammers ‘insiders’ to state that ‘nobody is safe’ from the overhaul. It is said that manager David Moyes would prefer to keep Rice, but there may be little in the way of transfer budget without cashing in.
United in particular have been linked with Rice for more than a year, with prices for the rising starlet previously quoted at £80m or even as much as £100m.
The Guardian adds that West Ham are desperate to hold onto Rice and would look for at least £70m to sell the midfielder, whose contract runs until 2024 with an option to extend for a further year.
90min understands that the Old Trafford club have always had an eye on Rice with a view to possible transfer approach, although he has fallen down the list of priorities in recent months behind other more preferred midfield targets like Jack Grealish and Jude Bellingham.
As well as possessing the right skill set and drive United are looking for, Grealish is a more affordable and attainable than Leicester equivalent James Maddison, and 90min recently reported an ill-advised lockdown breach is unlikely to impact the club’s pursuit.
Despite competition from Borussia Dortmund, 90min also recently revealed that United believe they have done enough to sign 16-year-old Bellingham from Birmingham.