Premier League

Man Utd & Man City leading pursuit of West Ham's Declan Rice

Toby Cudworth
Declan Rice is going from strength to strength at West Ham
Declan Rice is going from strength to strength at West Ham / Jurij Kodrun/Getty Images
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Declan Rice remains of interest to Manchester United and Manchester City, 90min understands, following the England international's strong start to the season.

Rice has played a key role in West Ham winning three of their opening six Premier League games, and scored a superb individual goal in the club's opening fixture in the Europa League - a 2-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia.

The 22-year-old has been key to West Ham's success - both this season and ever since David Moyes took charge of the club for a second time in December 2019 - and he's also become a central figure in England's midfield, starring this past summer as the Three Lions reached the final of Euro 2020.

Inevitably Rice's fine form and man of the match displays have attracted significant attention, namely from four of the Premier League's biggest teams.

Indeed, 90min reported as recently as April that Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea were interested in signing Rice - and that remains the case.

United and City are the two pushing hardest for Rice currently, with both sides sending scouts out to watch him during the early weeks of the season. As you'd expect, they have been impressed by what they've seen, so much so that United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is pushing the Red Devils' board to pursue Rice at any cost.

City are also keen to strike a deal and there's now a feeling from both camps that West Ham's £100m valuation is not unrealistic.

Declan Rice, Manuel Lanzini
Declan Rice after scoring for West Ham in the Europa League / Jurij Kodrun/Getty Images

Ultimately, West Ham remain in control of the situation - for now - as Rice will still have two years left on his contract when the 2021/22 season ends.

The Hammers haven't altered their stance on parting with Rice and are committed to keeping a player who many view to be their best, most valuable asset. Instead of cashing in on him, West Ham want to offer Rice fresh terms in a bid to tie him down to a new long-term deal.

A potential release clause has been rumoured, but a source has told 90min that West Ham are not prepared to entertain that idea.

In any event, Rice is keen to focus on his football for now and wants to channel his energy into maintaining the club's positive start to the season. His representatives do, however, want his future to be sorted out before next winter's World Cup finals, which are scheduled to get underway in November 2022.

Chelsea remain interested - having previously released Rice as a 14-year-old - but they do have contingency plans in place if West Ham are unwilling to negotiate a transfer. Monaco's Aurelien Tchouameni is on their radar, while many at the club believe that Billy Gilmour could be ready for a regular gig in the first team once his loan spell at Norwich concludes.

As for Liverpool, they are unlikely to spend big on Rice - but are continuing to monitor his progress nevertheless.


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