As per a report from the Independent, West Ham United starlet Declan Rice will rebuff any potential advances from Manchester United this summer, to remain at the London Stadium.
West Ham prodigy
Versatile 20-year-old Rice is generally deployed as a defensive midfielder, but can also line-out as a central-defender when required.
After showcasing his massive potential across 26 Premier League appearances for West Ham during the 2017/18 season (15 starts), Rice subsequently went on to cement himself as an integral member of Manuel Pellegrini’s midfield throughout this past season.
The teen started in 34 of the Irons’ 38 league outings, earning rave reviews for his performances versus the likes of Tottenham, Newcastle and Arsenal:
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) March 2, 2019
In fact, so impressive was Rice over the course of the campaign, that, despite his tender years, the no-frills midfielder was handed his senior international debut by England boss Gareth Southgate back in March:
Loved my first week away with @England. Special way to top it off getting my full competitive debut tonight in such a great performance from all the lads. Already looking forward to the summer 🦁🦁🦁 pic.twitter.com/ysSJuvNB6a
— Declan Rice (@_DeclanRice) March 25, 2019
‘Cannot know the future’
As such, recent reports that a number of the Premier League’s giants have set their sights firmly on Rice’s signature have come as little surprise.
The likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United have all been named as keen admirers of the starlet’s talents, with English champions City even rumoured to have earmarked Rice as the ideal long-term replacement for Fernandinho.
West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini, meanwhile, admitted last month that the future of his side’s crown jewel remains very much up in the air:
‘Maybe some of the big teams, or all of them, will want him. But that is one thing. The other is whether he will stay here or he goes. And I cannot say at this moment.’
‘It’s impossible. I cannot know the future.’
Not ‘the right time’
Manchester United have since been the club most persistently-touted as a potential destination for Rice, with SkyBet having placed the Red Devils at odds of just 3/1 to clinch a deal for the English international before the end of the summer:
Manchester United – 3/1
Manchester City – 4/1
Real Madrid – 20/1
Bayern Munich – 22/1
Borussia Dortmund – 22/1
As per the aforementioned update courtesy of the Independent, though, Rice himself will opt to knock back any advances from the Manchester giants over the coming months, in favour of remaining at West Ham.
The English outlet suggest that, in a similar situation to that of Jadon Sancho, Rice’s representatives do not want to put the midfielder ‘in that environment’.
It is also claimed that Rice is, as of this moment, not open to an Old Trafford switch.
The gifted youngster reportedly does not feel that it’s ‘the right time’ to join United, as another of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s rumoured summer targets rules out the possibility of plying his trade with the Red Devils next season.