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Manchester City plan summer move for Hammers midfield star Declan Rice

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Manchester City are mooting whether or not to make a move for Declan Rice but are wary of being drawn into another Harry Kane-style summer transfer saga.

With the signing of Erling Haaland all but complete, City’s other big recruitment decision is whether or not to spend big on a Fernandinho replacement. Rice is believed to be high on City’s radar, but West Ham United’s claim that the England international would cost £150m (€178.3m) threatens to deter a number of his suitors.

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel admitted last week that the figures given for Rice could be too high for his club and City are unlikely to pay anywhere near £150m for the 23-year-old.

Rice has turned down three contract offers from West Ham and contrary to David Moyes’ claim that the player could simply be after more money, it’s believed his motivation is a desire to play in the Champions League and win trophies .

He could still do that at West Ham and should the club survive the semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt and win the Europa League, which would ensure Champions League qualification, then Rice is likely to stay for another season.

Rice’s situation is not too dissimilar to that of his England team-mate Kane last summer when City were eventually forced to concede defeat in pursuit.

Kane had three years left on his Spurs contract last summer and Rice’s contract currently has two years left, with West Ham having the option to extend it by a further 12 months.

West Ham are determined to do everything in their power to keep Rice this summer unless a big offer is made, as the club feel next summer could potentially be the time when he is forced to earn money.

City had hoped to land both Kane and Jack Grealish but Tottenham refused to do business with their star player after a summer of speculation, maneuvering and ultimately fruitless negotiations.

Signing Grealish for £100m and Haaland from £63m was relatively straightforward as City were able to meet both players’ release clauses. This strategy is preferable for a club that often charges ridiculous fees for players due to its wealth.

Along with City and Chelsea, Manchester United also have a long-standing interest in Rice, who also has admirers abroad.

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]

https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/premier-league/manchester-city-sizing-up-summer-move-for-hammers-midfield-star-declan-rice-41587173.html Manchester City plan summer move for Hammers midfield star Declan Rice

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