West Ham United might have received a blow in their pursuit of Andre Gomes, but their stance on young sensation Declan Rice shows the statement of intent from the board despite finishing tenth last season in the Premier League standings. The Hammers, under Manuel Pellegrini, were impressive after a torrid start and should keep up their good work to compete for a place in Europe.
Although the East Londoners have been sweating over the future of the Englishman amid interest from the Manchester heavyweights, the latest report from the Independent suggests the likelihood of the player’s retention beyond this summer.
Rice has been linked with a move to Old Trafford for a while, but the current conundrum at the club is believed to be the reason why the youngster is not forcing an exit after featuring 61 times in the league over the past couple of campaigns. In spite of starting his career as a centre-back, the 20-year-old has flourished in the defensive midfield position and is now rated as one of the brightest prospects in English football.
Rice spent years in the academy ranks of Chelsea before joining the set-up of the Irons having been released from Cobham at the age of 14. But the youngster soon made his presence felt and earned his first-team debut as a teenager. His upsurge did not go unnoticed as Republic of Ireland, whom he represented in the various youth ranks, handed him three senior caps last year.
Despite best of efforts from The Green Army, the versatile prodigy switched his allegiance to represent the Three Lions earlier this year and grabbed a debut against the Czech Republic on 22 March. His fantastic form led to a selection in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the UEFA Nations League Finals and Rice, following his breakthrough season, has understandably drawn the attention of the Premier League giants.
Manchester City, on the other hand, made enquiries for him as a potential alternative to Rodri should their proposed move for the Atletico Madrid ace falls through within the next couple of months (as claimed by Sky Sports).
But the Citizens received a setback in the chase due to West Ham’s resolution in retaining their prized asset. This is indeed massive from the club’s viewpoint and would undoubtedly boost them up in luring in talents before the transfer window slams shut.
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