West Ham fans are right to be concerned by Man Utd and Chelsea transfer talks with Declan Rice

Rio Ferdinand believes Declan Rice – and other big-name transfer targets – may well be tapped up by Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City players in the England camp this summer.

Rice is the only West Ham player in the Three Lions set-up and the former England captain has said that other players may be trying to persuade the 22-year-old to leave the Hammers this transfer window as he knows it goes on.

The former West Ham defender admitted he was the subject of a similar approach by his England colleagues before his move from Leeds to Manchester United in 2002.

“Yeah that happens,” Ferdinand told the Mirror when asked if players are likely to talk about transfers.

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“That happened when I went to the World Cup with Nicky Butt, Becks [David Beckham] in the [Manchester] United team. Talked about me coming to United. That was speculation in the paper.

“That happens, every tournament, every get together. Players talking to players. I’m sure managers have said ‘speak to him for me and find out what he’s like’.

“Butt just said to me ‘would you come United?’. And I said ‘yeah I would. I want to win trophies’.

“That probably filtered back to the manager, they know if they want to make a bid or not. That’s how it works.”

Rice has been linked with a move to Manchester United with The Athletic reporting the 22-year-old is being closely monitored by Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s team as well as Chelsea and Manchester City.

With a number of players from all three squads in the England camp, Rice is sure to be spoken to about a potential move according to Ferdinand.

“All players are like fans. If you were in a squad with a player who you think is brilliant and you want him to come to your club you’d be saying ‘come on, mate. Come to us. Get on to your club and your agent and try to manoeuvre a move to get to us’,” he said.

“We are just an extension of the fans. And what happens is players will go back and report to their coaches – ‘by the way the best player was so and so’.

“That filters back to all the clubs and the managers become more aware and what’s going on.”

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Ferdinand is not the only former England captain to think Rice will be the subject of transfer speculation. Paul Ince, himself an ex-Hammer and Manchester United player, believes Rice will be attracting interest from the Old Trafford club.

“He was a bit like me at that age to be fair,” Ince said of Rice to Paddy Power. “Kind of gangly because he is not really built yet as he is only young. Obviously, he was a centre-half converted into a holding midfield player now so he is still going to get stronger.

“I agree he is one [Manchester] United should be looking at and thinking; ‘yeah he is not going to be 100% ready now’, because I wasn’t when I went there it took me a year or two years before I was flourishing. [Roy] Keane was the same, so I think he would be perfect.

“I know West Ham fans won’t want to hear me say that but if you are looking to improve the team he is someone who would improve you.”

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