Chelsea target Declan Rice has been told to snub the Blues and Manchester United in favour of a big-money move to Pep Guardiola’s Man City amid superb form.
Six goal contributions from a roaming midfield-based role in 14 games in all competitions is going some way to justifying the £100million price tag that has been placed on the Englishmen’s shoulders by David Moyes and Kevin Nolan in the past.
Of course, Chelsea have been heavily interested in bringing back the ex-academy player to west London but the price-tag has so far deterred Marina Granovskaia and co. from making a play for West Ham’s No.41.
Instead, they opted to sign Saul Niguez on loan from Atletico Madrid as a stop-gap to a future midfielder signing in the upcoming transfer windows, and football.london understands that it’s highly unlikely that the Blues hierarchy will trigger the £35million option to buy come the end of the season.
Furthermore, talk has switched backed to the west Londoners’ long-standing interest in Mason Mount’s best friend, but the player himself has been told to snub the European Champions for the current Premier League champions in a rather surprising admission.
Ex-Manchester United midfielder Kleberson told PaddyPower: “Declan Rice could play for any of the top Premier League teams. He had a brilliant season last year, a great Euros with England and has started this season incredibly well.
“He’s still young so will continue to grow and become a better player, but already in his career, you can see how much he’s improved and grown up as a midfielder, especially technically.
“The top teams are always looking for players who have Premier League experience and have had strong performances over a long period of time, which is exactly what Declan Rice has had. The best teams are always on the lookout for players as they need a big squad due to the number of games that they play throughout the season.
“It would be good to see Declan Rice play for Manchester City as they base their play around keeping the ball for long periods of time, which is something that Declan Rice likes to do. The style of play that Pep Guardiola creates would be perfect for him and the way Pep interacts with his players, is something that Rice would benefit from massively.”
football.london understand that West Ham have never received a bid for Rice and would not welcome one. The midfielder is understood to be happy at the club and on a long-term deal that does not expire until 2024, with the club holding an option to extend for a further 12 months.