Manchester City are reportedly lining up a move for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice as a long-term replacement for Fernandinho.
Pep Guardiola is already on the look out for a successor to the Brazilian, who will turn 34 before the end of the current campaign.
And according to a report in The Sun, Rice has caught the City boss’ eye, despite only penning a lucrative new deal with the Hammers last month.
The 19-year-old has emerged as one of the Premier League’s top young talents, having earned a regular spot at the heart of West Ham’s midfield under former City boss Manuel Pellegrini.
The report goes on to state that Guardiola feels Rice has many of the qualities that have made Fernandinho so crucial to City over his near six-year stay at The Etihad.
The 33-year-old has played a pivotal role in City’s recent success but has been hit by injury issues during the latter stages of his career, prompting Guardiola to seek out the club’s next defensive midfielder.
The Sun claims that Guardiola will make a detailed assessment of Rice throughout the remainder of the season, checking to see if he has the stamina and ability to continue playing at such a high level throughout a whole campaign.
Rice signed a new five-year, £30,000-a-week deal in December and it is though that West Ham will only entertain bids of over £50million for the player.
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