Declan Rice has been tipped to leave West Ham United in the coming months by pundit Michael Brown, per Football Insider.
The England international has come through the ranks at the Hammers and has become one of the key cogs of David Moyes' side.
Indeed, since his debut in 2015, he has gone on to make 100 appearances for the Irons, per Transfermarkt, and has also won seven caps for England since switching his allegiance from the Republic of Ireland.
Rice, though, has consistently been linked with a move away from east London, with the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea credited with an interest.
The Daily Mail reported in January that United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had sent a scout to watch the midfielder against Sheffield United ahead of a potential summer bid, while Sky Sports have claimed that Chelsea could look to reunite Rice with his old pal Mason Mount. Both players began their careers in the Blues' academy.
It is telling that neither report carries a possible fee for the 21-year-old's signature, and it remains to be seen if West Ham would be willing to countenance a sale; indeed, it is not yet clear if the transfer window will even go ahead this summer, such has been the suspension of football in this country.
Nevertheless, Brown, who played for the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, and Portsmouth in a lengthy career, believes that Rice will be eyeing the next step following his time in east London.
He said: “I think he’s played enough now, he’s got a good tally of games behind him so he’s obviously gained that experience now in the Premier League.
“I think Declan Rice will be looking to try and progress at a club a little bit higher up the league once you’ve played that amount of games.
“With West Ham still showing promise at times and then finding it difficult, he could see a pathway to play somewhere else, I think he would consider it now.
“Will they need some player in that category? I’m sure they will be well aware there will be suitors for Declan Rice.
“They’ll have probably already got a list together to see and say: ‘Where can we put somebody in?'”
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Unfortunately for West Ham, Rice does appear to have set his sights on playing at a higher level.
The Three Lions star has previously outlined his desire to play in the Champions League, per a 2019 Telegraph interview, and the Hammers simply don't have the ability to offer him that chance.
Before the resumption of the league later this month, they lie 16th, level on points with relegation-threatened Bournemouth and only clear of the drop zone on goal difference.
It is difficult to imagine the Irons challenging the top four any time soon and if United and Chelsea were to formalise their interest, one has to imagine that Rice would jump at the chance to make the move.
It is an undoubted step up and, while he has come through the ranks at the Hammers, his dues are paid.News Now - Sport News