Journalist Paul Brown claims sought-after West Ham United defensive midfielder Declan Rice has been compared to former World Cup winner Franz Beckenbauer.
What’s the latest news involving Rice?
West Ham are locked in contract negotiations with Rice having already seen the England international reject two offers of a new deal.
Rice’s current agreement runs until 2024, although it has the option of being extended by another 12 months.
It has been reported that, amid continued interest from both Manchester clubs, Chelsea and Liverpool, Rice will only sign a fresh contract if a release clause is included.
The 22-year-old’s demands have come after feeling as though he was denied a summer transfer due to the Hammers’ £100million asking price during the transfer window.
What has Brown said about Rice?
Brown believes Rice is destined to enjoy an impressive career despite previously having doubts over the defensive midfielder.
Brown told GMS: “Declan Rice is definitely headed for the top. I think there are a lot of people who massively underestimate Declan Rice.
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“When I first saw him and he was playing at centre-back, he was very in and out and I didn’t really see what all the fuss was about. I do now, he’s convinced me.
“There are people who’ve watched West Ham since the 1960s and a very good friend of mine who has been around and seen everything said, ‘this kid reminds me of Franz Beckenbauer’.
“He wasn’t joking. People might laugh when I say that but he wasn’t joking. He has seen basically everything, so respect what he says.”
How has Rice performed this season?
Rice has played every minute of West Ham’s Premier League campaign so far and claimed an assist in the 4-1 win over Leicester City last month.
He also took his tally of England caps up to 26 during the recent international break and scored his second goal for the Three Lions in the 4-0 World Cup qualifying win against Hungary.