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Ranking the five favourites to sign Declan Rice this summer

Declan Rice is being linked with the Premier League’s leading clubs, with the midfielder having enjoyed an outstanding season at West Ham.

Rice has developed into one of the Premier League’s most complete midfielders, captaining the Hammers in their pursuit of a top-four finish and Champions League qualification.

David Moyes has backed the 23-year-old to become a future captain of England and says Rice is worth more than £100m to West Ham, who will be hoping to secure European football once again and stave off interest in his services.

 

Rice will have two years remaining on his current contract this summer, though West Ham have the option to extend his deal with a further year and are in a strong position at the negotiating table.

We’ve decided to look at how the bookmakers assess his future, here are the five favourites to sign Declan Rice from West Ham.

Newcastle – 14/1

Newcastle continue to be linked with major names following the club’s billionaire takeover, with the Magpies having invested over £90m into their squad during the January transfer window.

The club’s current predicament in the Premier League’s bottom three made attracting leading names difficult, but should Newcastle secure safety it is expected to lead to huge investment again this summer.

Newcastle’s new ownership is believed to be the wealthiest in world football and their resources mean a deal is feasible, as long as the Magpies can keep within Financial Fair Player regulations.

Attracting Rice could prove trickier, however, given the midfielder’s desire to play Champions League football and compete for major trophies.

There is no doubt that Eddie Howe’s side can rise to that status, but it could take several seasons and Rice would need convincing to swap West Ham for another ambitious project in the North East.

However, if the hugely talented midfielder can be convinced to move to St.James Park their will be plenty of football fans looking to bet on whether the team will succeed.

Liverpool – 10/1

Liverpool have been priced at 10/1 odds to sign Rice this summer, with the Reds having been tentatively linked with the signing of the England international.

Midfield is believed to be on the agenda for Liverpool ahead of the summer window, given the uncertainty surrounding several of their current options.

Georginio Wijnaldum departed for Paris Saint-Germain last summer without a replacement, whilst James Milner turned 36 in January and is out of contract at the end of the season.

With both Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara also the wrong side of 30, the next move for Jurgen Klopp and his recruitment team could be the addition of a new figure in the engine room.

Rice’s energy, drive and ball-winning abilities would suit Liverpool’s counter-pressing style, but the £100m+ fee looks prohibitive given the club’s record in recent windows.

Manchester United – 15/2

Manchester United have been crying out for reinforcements in central midfield, with the Red Devils’ failure to address their engine room needs cited as a huge reason behind their disappointing campaign.

The arrivals of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane raised optimism ahead of the campaign, but their lack of elite midfield options has seen the side struggle for consistent results.

Rice would represent a huge upgrade and looks tailor-made to improve this side, though the uncertainty surrounding the club’s next permanent manager could have an impact on a potential pursuit.

Rice will similarly want assurances over Champions League football and the Red Devils are currently in the midst of a tight race for a top-four finish, with their competitors including West Ham.

Securing their place in Europe’s elite will be crucial to their chances of winning the race for Rice, who could provide the dynamic midfield presence that has been lacking in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.

Manchester City – 11/2

Manchester City are 11/2 second favourites to sign Rice, as the Premier League champions consider a move for the West Ham midfielder.

Fernandinho is expected to leave when his contract expires this summer, with the Brazilian set to turn 37 before the end of the Premier League campaign.

Fernandinho has been an integral figure in the club’s modern successes, but has been used sporadically this term and has made just five Premier League starts.

Rodri’s improvement has lessened the need for a big-money signing at the base of the midfield and the Spain international has been excellent this season, with City’s focus perhaps on the signing of a centre-forward amid rumoured interest in Erling Haaland.

City broke the Premier League’s transfer record to sign Jack Grealish in a £100m deal last summer, and a second successive record spend for another England midfielder is viewed as possible in 2022.

Chelsea – 3/1

Chelsea are the favourites to sign Rice this summer, having released the midfielder from the academy system as a teenager.

Rice began in the ranks at Chelsea – the club he has supported since childhood – before leaving at 14, crossing the capital to sign for West Ham and since emerging as the Hammers’ brightest talent.

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The 23-year-old’s close friendship with Mason Mount has been cited as another factor in the west Londoners leading the race for his signing, whilst he would join a healthy contingent of England teammates at Stamford Bridge with Ben Chilwell and Reece James among Thomas Tuchel’s options.

Jorginho and N’Golo Kante are both now over the age of 30 and Rice would represent a long-term replacement for that duo, a signing who could make both an immediate impact and sure up Chelsea’s future.

Read – Midfield Magicians: Spurs’ balletic dictator, Mousa Dembélé

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