Pep Guardiola midfield revamp taking shape as Man City interest in red-hot star shows no sign of dwindling

England trio Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham and Phil Foden

A report claims Manchester City are still keen on the idea of bringing West Ham star Declan Rice to the club in the summer despite the finances involved.

The 24-year-old has become one of the most sought after players in the English game among those clubs with the necessary funds. Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United have all been linked with the hard-working schemer. And any club with aspirations to have him on their books will need to part company with around £100m.

City have also been mentioned in connection with the England international. And a report by 90min suggests their interest has not waned.

Rice began his footballing journey in the Chelsea youth team but moved to West Ham in 2014. Three years later he enjoyed a first-team debut and has not looked back since.

The Kingston upon Thames-born ace has made 223 appearances in all competitions, with 189 of those coming in the Premier League.

England came calling in 2019 and Rice has now earned 39 caps for the Three Lions.

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He was part of the side that made it to the Euro 2020 final and played at last year’s World Cup in Qatar.

It is no wonder that so many clubs want him in their ranks. And it seems likely that the Hammers will cash in this summer.

He will have two years left on his current contract when the dust settles on 2022-2023.

And that gives the East End outfit plenty of bargaining power to demand a whopping fee.

The former Republic of Ireland Under-21 star is likely to have plenty of options available to him in the summer.

There may well be a bidding war between the English heavyweights. And it will all come down to where the tough-tackling star wants to play.

Rice at the heart of Man City midfield overhaul

Manchester City have now bridged the gap to Arsenal and knocked the Gunners off top spot with a 3-1 triumph at the Emirates on Wednesday night.

The north Londoners do have a game on hand but Pep Guardiola’s side are now firm favourites to make it three successive titles.

City have long had a star-studded midfield but could look to make changes in the off-season.

Both Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva have been linked with leaving the Etihad.

That would free up some space in the centre of the park. But Rice’s England colleague Kalvin Phillips is also in the ranks.

His move from Leeds has proved to be a disaster to date, with just 21 minutes of league football from four substitute appearances. Injuries have taken their toll but he still has time to prove himself.

Next season is pivotal in Phillips’ City career as the 27-year-old needs to establish himself in Guardiola’s first team.

Otherwise he is at risk of being moved on. Rice’s arrival could hasten that prospect.

There is also the spectre of possible Financial Fair play breaches hanging over the north-west giants.

City have vowed to clear their name but a huge transfer outlay when under investigation may be tough to pull off.

Most pundits feel Rice will have switched clubs before the start of next season.

It is anyone’s guess as where the box-to-box midfielder will end up. But Guardiola got his man when Jack Grealish was recruited while a certain Erling Haaland was also persuaded to join.

Rice wants to win trophies and he could not move to a better club than City to fulfil those ambitions.

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