Who should sign Declan Rice?

Jude Summerfield
Rice has spoken about competing at a higher level
Rice has spoken about competing at a higher level / Marc Atkins/GettyImages
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Declan Rice has emerged as England's best midfielder in recent years thanks to his powerful displays with the Three Lions and West Ham.

His stock has risen to the point where Hammers boss David Moyes once demanded £150m as a minimum to lure Rice away from the London Stadium. That's quite a price tag, though the Scotsman also insisted the club had now interest in selling the former Chelsea youngster.

However, that hasn't stopped some of England's biggest clubs courting Rice over the years. Here's who should be looking at a potential deal.


Chelsea

Chelsea have been chasing Rice for a long time and remain the frontrunners to sign him. 90min understands the England international is still the most desired midfield transfer target for the Blues, especially since Todd Boehly took over.

Following the change of ownership, Boehly quickly spoke to West Ham about Rice, who was on the books at Chelsea as a youngster. At that point in June, Rice was deemed not for sale by the Hammers.

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Rice has not been shy in voicing his desire for Champions League football and to compete for top trophies. Chelsea are a work in progress at the moment and not guaranteed to compete on either of those fronts right now, but the Blues have sleepwalked to trophies in recent memory and will likely continue to do so.


Manchester United

Just behind Chelsea are Manchester United, who have long kept tabs on Rice.

As recently as April 2022, the Red Devils were willing to smash their transfer record to sign the West Ham skipper in the summer transfer window. No such move materialised, but with Rice's recent comments indicating a desire to compete at a higher level, it may sooner rather than later.

It seems unlikely Rice will sign a new contract at the London Stadium if he wants to play in the Champions League, so if Erik ten Hag can guide United to a top four finish in his debut season at Old Trafford, the Red Devils will become a more attractive suitor for Rice.


Manchester City

Rice recently gushed over England teammate Phil Foden, who has bloomed under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City over the past five years.

He said: "He can bring anything he wants, he is technically our most gifted player, he can wiggle out of things and play beautiful passes.

"Whatever the manager decides Phill will be ready for that. Every time he puts on a shirt he gives his everything and he tries things people won't try. He will always come back stronger and if he plays he is a weapon."

The pair have played regularly together for England but a combination at club level could prove to be even more harmonious. Maybe Rice has his eyes set on a return to Chelsea, but as the dominant force in English football right now, he'd be silly not to consider a move to Man City.

He wouldn't be guaranteed a starting role every game - such is the rotation at the Etihad - but the current Hammers skipper would grow immeasurably under Guardiola. However, they have just signed Kalvin Phillips.


Liverpool

It looks like Fenway Sports Group are selling up at Liverpool so a mammoth bid for one of England's most in-demand stars seems a mile away.

However, the Reds have needed fresh legs in midfield, especially a runner to burst forward with Thiago and Fabinho playing deeper. Jordan Henderson is in the twilight of his career, injuries continue to affect Naby Keita and obscurer squad members like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and loanee Arthur don't hold long term futures at Anfield. Youngsters Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho aren't to be ignored, but strengthening in midfield has long been needed.

Rice would be an excellent fit, recovering possession and playing in the likes of Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz into space, but Liverpool are firm outsiders right now.


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