West Ham spy Man Utd star as surprise Declan Rice successor after Ten Hag casts shadow over usefulness at Old Trafford

Man Utd trio Scott McTominay, Fred and Bruno Fernandes

A star whose importance to Man Utd has dwindled since Erik ten Hag took charge is being considered by West Ham as the long-term successor to Declan Rice, per a report.

Rice, 24, is widely expected to leave West Ham at season’s end. The Hammers captain has already rejected three separate contract offers, and the Athletic claimed figures within West Ham have already ‘conceded’ Rice will leave.

His current deal expires in the summer of 2024 and the club do have an option for an extra 12 months. However, that’d only be delaying the inevitable and the longer they wait, the weaker their bargaining position in the market will be.

Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal have all been linked with a blockbuster move. David Moyes has quoted figures as high as £150m when discussing a Rice exit.

The Athletic reckon a mark closer to £100m will ultimately suffice, though even that discount could still see the Premier League transfer record fall. The current mark is held by Jack Grealish after his £100m move from Aston Villa to Man City.

City’s Kalvin Phillips has been mentioned as one possible successor to Rice. The ex-Leeds favourite has endured a torrid campaign since moving to the Etihad. Even if he does rediscover his fitness and form, he’s unlikely to ever displace the imperious Rodri.

Now, a new name has been touted as a possible long-term successor to Rice – Man Utd’s Scott McTominay.

Rice out, McTominay in?

The Scotland international is a target for Newcastle via the loan route in the current window. However, the Times stopped that potential move dead in its tracks on Friday when claiming McTominay won’t be going anywhere this month.

But according to West Ham Central, McTominay is being ‘considered’ to replace Rice from next summer onwards.

Their information comes from the reliable ExWHUEmployee account and has also been picked up by the Manchester Evening News. Furthermore, a deal would appear to make sense when digging deeper.

Indeed, McTominay was once a regular starter at Old Trafford, though has seen his role diminish this season.

The twin arrivals of Christian Eriksen and Casemiro have provided Ten Hag with a new and far more effective midfield pairing.

In the event one of that duo misses out or is moved further forward – as Eriksen was against Man City – Ten Hag has often selected Fred over McTominay. As such, the 26-year-old is no better than fourth choice at present.

What’s more, the Telegraph’s James Ducker recently reported it may be a case of one out, one in for Man Utd this summer.

The Red Devils are believed to still owe £307m in payments on past transfers. As such, selling first-team stars and recouping decent fees could be crucial to bolstering Ten Hag’s budget for new recruits next summer.

If Rice does depart as is expected, McTominay would represent a readymade and Premier League-proven replacement for West Ham.

Given his reduced role under Ten Hag, he may well be available for transfer too.

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