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West Ham United eye Man City midfielder as Declan Rice replacement

West Ham United have reportedly identified Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips as a potential target should they decide to part ways with captain Declan Rice, informs the SportsMole.

The Hammers were strongly linked with a big-money move to sign the 27-year-old England international from former club Leeds United last January, but they ultimately lost out to Man City over the summer.

David Moyes revealed in July that West Ham tabled a higher offer than the Citizens to sign Phillips, but the midfielder opted to move to the Premier League champions in a deal worth an initial £42m.

Phillips, who penned a contract with Man City until 2028, has since been hampered with injuries during his first season at the Etihad Stadium and has featured for just 53 minutes across four substitute appearances in all competitions.

The Yorkshire-born midfielder made two substitute appearances for England at the 2022 World Cup and reported back to Man City “overweight” according to manager Pep Guardiola.

According to Football Insider, West Ham have been “alerted” by Guardiola’s public comments on Phillips and will contemplate reigniting their interest in the midfielder if Rice leaves the club next summer.

The report adds that Phillips, who is rated highly by Moyes, could be available for less than the fee paid by the Citizens last summer.

With the long-term future of Rice believed to be uncertain, West Ham are expected to target a new centre-midfielder ahead of the 2023-24 season.

Rice has established himself as a star player and a leader at the London Stadium, amassing 217 appearances for the Hammers in all competitions, and he is set to become one of the most sought-after midfielders in Europe ahead of the summer window.

Speculation over the 23-year-old’s future continues to grow as he is yet to agree fresh terms over a contract extension at the club, with his current deal due to expire in June 2024.