Man City eyeing West Ham’s Declan Rice as long-term Fernandinho replacement

As per a report from the Daily Mail, West Ham United prodigy Declan Rice is the subject of serious interest from Premier League champions Manchester City.

West Ham standout

Versatile 19-year-old Rice can line out as either a central defender or defensive midfielder.

After showcasing his massive potential across 26 Premier League appearances for West Ham last season (15 starts), Rice has since gone on to cement himself as an integral member of Manuel Pellegrini’s starting XI this season.

The teen has started in 18 of the Hammers’ 21 league outings, earning rave reviews for his performances versus the likes of Tottenham and Leicester.

Declan Rice

Declan Rice in action during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur

West Ham tie Rice down

As such, news emerging over recent months that West Ham were determined to tie Rice down to a new contract came as little surprise.

The 3-time capped Republic of Ireland international’s previous deal saw him earn just £3,000-per-week.

However, Rice put pen-to-paper on a new and improved contract last month, which will tie him to West Ham until 2024.

City interest

But, as per the aforementioned report from the Daily Mail, one club nevertheless keeping close tabs on the Irons’ standout ahead of a potential offer in the near future are Premier League champions Manchester City.

Citizens’ boss Pep Guardiola reportedly views Rice as the ideal long-term successor to Fernandinho.

Experienced Brazilian international Fernandinho continues to act as a crucial member of City’s midfield, but is set to turn 34 in May.

As such, Guardiola is well aware that he will soon require a replacement for his side’s fulcrum.

And Rice is set to be extensively monitored over the second-half of the campaign as a result, ahead of a potential Sky Blues’ bid.

West Ham, for their part, though, have reportedly slapped a £50 million price-tag on their midfield prodigy’s head.

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