It is anticipated that West Ham’s English national team player, Declan Rice, will depart from the club during the summer transfer window, with several big teams such as Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester United expressing interest in acquiring his services, writes the Mirror.
Mikel Arteta has identified Rice as his primary target for the midfield position, while Liverpool is seeking a midfield overhaul this summer and has been linked with Rice after abandoning their pursuit of his England teammate, Jude Bellingham. Meanwhile, United has been a long-standing admirer of the 24-year-old player, whose contract with West Ham expires in 2024. Although Rice turned down a new contract offer last year, West Ham can prolong his current contract by one year if they choose to do so.
According to Sky Sports, West Ham will consider selling Declan Rice during the summer transfer window only if they receive an adequate offer and are reportedly looking to set a new record by demanding a fee of approximately £120m. If Rice were to be sold for that amount, he would become one of the most expensive football players ever, joining the exclusive group of just eight individuals purchased for £100m or more.
However, Manchester United icons Gary Neville and Roy Keane do not believe that Rice warrants such a high valuation. Neville expressed his admiration for Rice but asserted that the midfielder’s skill set is more focused on being a defensive player, meaning that he is not as valuable as other world-class holding midfielders who score and assist more frequently. Neville went on to argue that Rice’s true value is closer to half of what West Ham is seeking.
On the other hand, Roy Keane has been unsatisfied with Declan Rice’s on-field displays in the current season, as he expressed in an interview with ITV, stating:
“I don’t think he has kicked on for all the talk there has been about him – he needs to do a lot more. He doesn’t score enough goals or get enough assists.
“I have been a fan of him, he is always fit, but I just want a little bit more from him. There is talk of him leaving for big money and competing with teams for trophies, and he needs to do a lot more, it is as simple as that.
“Sometimes I see him play at West Ham, and he goes through the motions and he needs to do a lot more to match the top midfielders in the country. But I think it’s better to play well in a bad team. To me, he doesn’t stand out in a bad team, which is a worry.”