Liverpool could be one of the sides hashing it out to sign West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice.
“Lots of clubs are interested in signing him, for instance Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool as well. So, there could well be a bidding war for him if West Ham do decide to sell him,” said the journalist.
“We know a lot of clubs are looking for a central midfielder. He’s young, he’s the captain of West Ham and a regular starter for England as well. There will be a lot of clubs interested in him. He brings a lot to the table but the price is going to be at least £80m, £90m or £100m. I think West Ham would be looking for something like £100m for Rice.
“If he doesn’t sign a new contract then there is not much West Ham can do but sell him because that kind of windfall is very difficult for a club like West Ham to turn down.”
Rice’s contract is due to expire in summer 2024. With West Ham retaining the option of a one-year extension though, there’s still a little bit of wiggle-room.
Rice still an option for Liverpool
Liverpool have long been reported as one of Rice’s many suitors should he leave West Ham. But at the kind of prices being discussed, he feels very much like a back-up option for the Reds.
A back-up to Jude Bellingham, that is. Should Liverpool land their top target, there’s no way they fork out a similar kind of fee for his England colleague.
Obviously, that isn’t a cut and dry scenario, though. There are plenty of other runners for Bellingham, even if Liverpool have already begun talks with the 19-year-old.
If those talks end up being fruit-less, then a move for Rice would make a lot more sense. As Solhekol points out, the West Ham man would be a great addition for any of the country’s top teams. As a Bellingham consolation, he wouldn’t be bad at all.
We all know that Liverpool need more than one midfielder. Regardless of if they get Bellingham, one, two or even three more players should be brought in, depending on departures.
But if they do end up forking out on Bellingham, those other options are likely to be cheaper ones. As a result, Liverpool don’t feel like front-runners for Rice. The Times reported earlier this week that Arsenal are the favourites to land the 24-year-old. Unless something unforeseen happens, we expect the Reds to remain on the periphery.