Manchester United plan to rival Arsenal in the race to sign West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice this summer, according to The Guardian.
The England international has spent his entire career with the Hammers but he is unlikely to move on with his aim of playing Champions League football and competing for major honours.
Hammers boss David Moyes has already admitted that Rice could leave this summer and The Guardian claim that United could offer competition to the Gunners in the midfielder’s pursuit.
Mikel Arteta’s side have already laid the ground work for a bid. The 24-year-old is prepared to work with the manager and they are considered as the likeliest destination for him.
However, the north London outfit could be reluctant to meet the £100 million price tag and this could benefit the Red Devils, who are contemplating over a summer approach for him.
As per The Guardian, United’s ‘interest is growing’ in Rice but a summer transfer could depend on the club recouping funds from player sales. There is no guarantee at the moment.
Man Utd could include Maguire in Rice deal
Rice has developed into one of the best midfielders in the Premier League. This season, he has completed 88 per cent of his passes while winning 2.3 tackles and 4.7 duels per game.
The 24-year-old has also contributed three goals and two assists in the top-flight. In our opinion, the Englishman could be transformed into a quality number eight with his ability.
Rice has the knack for making forward runs and he could become an excellent box-to-box midfielder if he can improve on his finishing during the prime of his playing career.
Arsenal have been mentioned as the front-runners in the race but United have the opportunity to beat them to his signature if they qualify for next season’s Champions League.
The Hammers were interested in signing Harry Maguire at the beginning of the year and United could include the 29-year-old as a makeweight to lower Rice’s valuation.
Maguire is currently valued at £22 million, as per Transfermarkt. United could price him at around £30m, thereby allowing them to sign Rice in a deal worth £70m this summer.
The Hammers are bound to shore up their central defence and it could be a win-win situation. Maguire would be assured regular minutes while Rice makes the move to Old Trafford.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com & Sofascore.com