Man Utd have reportedly been warned off a West Ham ace as the Irons plan to build their team around him over the next few years.
David Moyes’ side are flying high right now following their impressive 3-2 victory over Liverpool. That win saw them go third in the Premier League table, just three points behind leaders Chelsea.
They are right in the mix for Champions League qualification and could eclipse the sixth-placed finish they achieved last season.
West Ham are benefitting from the brilliant form of their attackers. Target man Michail Antonio has bagged six goals in ten league appearances so far. Jarrod Bowen and Said Benrahma, who tend to operate on either wing, are also contributing with goals.
However, most of the Irons’ recent success can be put down to their solid midfield duo of Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek. The pair have formed a great relationship and are now incredibly hard to play against.
They provide plenty of protection to the back four while also getting up the pitch to support their team-mates in attack.
It’s no surprise that Man Utd, alongside Man City and Chelsea, are eyeing Rice’s signature. The Englishman captains West Ham regularly, despite being just 22.
He is on his way to being one of the best central midfielders in the world – if he is not already there.
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The Sun now provide an update on Rice’s future, and it looks like good news for West Ham. They claim that club officials have ‘no intention’ of selling the star any time soon.
They instead wish to build Moyes’ team around him as part of the aim to qualify for the Champions League on a regular basis. West Ham will not sell even if Man Utd, City or Chelsea offer £100m for the midfielder.
They are looking to reward Rice for his fine form with a bumper new contract. That would see him extend his spell at the London Stadium to beyond 2025.
West Ham also have the impending takeover in mind. Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky is closing in on a deal to buy a 27 per cent stake in the club. His added funds will help West Ham in their bid to become top four contenders, thus helping to keep Rice from the clutches of their rivals.
West Ham to avoid Aston Villa repeat
The Hammers are wary of following in Aston Villa’s footsteps. Jack Grealish left the West Midlands in the summer to join Man City for £100m.
Villa have struggled without him, picking up just ten points from 11 outings. West Ham reckon that they will not be able to replace’s Rice influence even if they receive more than £100m for his services.
One area of the pitch that Moyes may have to invest in is defence. Angelo Ogbonna had to be subbed off in the victory over Liverpool after injuring his ACL. He could miss the rest of the campaign depending on the diagnosis.
West Ham may look to sign a new centre-back in the January transfer window. They currently have Kurt Zouma, Craig Dawson and Issa Diop available there.