Manchester City are ready to rival Chelsea and Manchester United in the pursuit of West Ham midfielder Declan Rice this summer.
According to The Times, Declan Rice has emerged as the latest target for Manchester City, in what could turn out to be one of the most interest transfer sagas of the upcoming summer transfer window.
The West Ham midfielder is already targeted by multiple top clubs across England, including Chelsea and Manchester United. And now, it seems Champions League finalists Manchester City are considering a summer swoop for the midfielder, who has been identified by a long-term replacement for Fernandinho.
The Brazilian international is reportedly not showing too much desire to extend his existing contract at Etihad that expires at the end of the season. It has forced the Citizens to enter the market, in search of a defensive midfielder.
Manchester United, too, have similar plans for Declan Rice as they prepare for life without Nemanja Matic. At the age of 32, the Serbian will not be considered as a viable option in the long-term, with head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also hoping to provide additional competition for Fred.
The Red Devils, though, have been linked with multiple other alternatives, fearing Rice’s hefty price tag that could easily exceed the €70 million mark. Even former Arsenal youth player and AC Milan midfielder Ismael Bennacer has emerged as a target for Solskjaer this summer.
One club unlikely to face any difficulties in funding a big-money transfer, however, is Chelsea, with Roman Abramovich ready to pump in the cash once again following a successful little spell under Thomas Tuchel during the second half of the 2020/21 campaign.
The Blues have been already linked with a host of star players this summer and are regarded as one of the top contenders to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland. They also have the privilege of offloading several fringe players including the likes of Kepa Arrizabalaga, Hakim Ziyech from the senior side while loanees like Ross Barkley and Fikayo Tomori could also fetch a handsome fee.
The latter has been linked with a permanent move to AC Milan in the summer – a sale that could help Chelsea fund a move for Declan Rice in the summer.
From a sporting perspective, the West Ham midfielder could provide competition for Jorginho in the holding midfield role. His ability to operate as a centre-back should offer further tactical choices for Thomas Tuchel, so it won’t be surprising to see the Blues emerge as the top contender to sign the English international this summer.
But with Manchester City also entering the fray, it remains to be seen who comes out on top in this transfer race or whether West Ham are successful in keeping hold of Rice in the summer.