West Ham plot incredible Declan Rice swap agreement as England star opts to leave amid Liverpool, Man City rumours

Declan Rice West Ham pre-season

West Ham have decided on which top Premier League midfielder they want to replace Declan Rice and are hoping to engineer a swap deal, according to reports.

West Ham have attempted to keep Rice at the London Stadium by sending him several contract offers. However, they have all been rebuffed by the star and his agent.

With Rice heading towards free agency in summer 2024, a West Ham exit is pretty much guaranteed to happen this summer.

On Friday, TEAMtalk transfer insider Graeme Bailey revealed West Ham have accepted the fact they must sell their prized asset.

Rice himself has come to terms with a departure. While he was representing England at the World Cup, the 23-year-old spoke about his desire to play in the Champions League and compete for major trophies, just like his international team-mates.

David Moyes hopes West Ham can turn things around and get back competing for a top six finish once again. But with the Hammers sat in 17th place currently, this looks unlikely.

Given Rice’s top performances over the last few seasons, it is no surprise top English clubs are lining up to sign him.

Bailey says Chelsea is his most likely next club. This is because he has ‘unfinished business’ at Stamford Bridge after being released from the Chelsea academy as a teenager.

Liverpool, City and Chelsea all want Declan Rice

But the Blues will certainly face competition to sign the all-action midfielder. Liverpool have been backed to express an interest in him, while approaches could also come from Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal.

Football Insider provide an update on Rice’s prospective transfer out of West Ham. They claim the east London outfit hope to complete a swap deal when Rice leaves.

And the man they want to replace Rice in Moyes’ team is City star Kalvin Phillips.

Football Insider sources call the idea ‘sensational’. The plan is for West Ham to demand Phillips plus cash for Rice.

The report does not reveal how much money City would have to spend on top of letting Phillips move. But given recent events, it would probably be a considerable sum.

Kalvin Phillips has struggled at City

Phillips joined City from Leeds in the summer for an initial £42million, plus £3m in add-ons. But he has been limited to five appearances for City this campaign due to a shoulder injury.

Plus, when Phillips returned to City after the World Cup break, manager Pep Guardiola said he was ‘overweight’ and could not take part in training sessions at first.

Nevertheless, at Leeds Phillips proved himself to be a top Premier League performer. And once he gets back up to speed, he will be able to show his talent once again.

West Ham attempted to sign Phillips in January 2022, launching a £50m bid for him while he was still at Elland Road. This would have made the 27-year-old their record signing, but Leeds rejected the offer.

The Hammers have kept tabs on Phillips’ situation since then and believe he is the right man to come into Moyes’ midfield, should Rice leave.

Phillips is not quite at Rice’s level currently. But this is due to injuries and fierce competition for places at City.

Should the Leeds hero move to West Ham, then he would get game time pretty much every week. This could result in him becoming one of the most reliable Prem midfielders once again.

Playing regularly would also help his England prospects. Phillips was a crucial part of the England setup at Euro 2020, helping the Three Lions to reach the final. He did make the squad for the Qatar World Cup too, though his struggles at City limited him to two substitute appearances.