Liverpool are quietly testing the ground about the possibility of signing West Ham United captain Declan Rice.
Rice looks set to finally leave West Ham this summer, having grown into one of the most coveted midfielders in the Premier League. And according to The Mirror, Liverpool could be in the running.
They claim that the Reds have made ‘discreet enquiries’ over signing the 24-year-old, with it reportedly fed back to them that he’ll will cost ‘well over’ £75m.
The same is said to be true of another target – Brighton’s Moises Caicedo. Liverpool are also claimed to have been in touch with the Ecuadorian’s club about a potential move.
With both Rice and Caicedo valued so highly though, they may prove to be out of the Reds’ reach. As a result, Jurgen Klopp is said to have installed Fulham’s Joao Palhinha as a ‘cheaper’ option at around £40m.
Rice credentials even more clear
Now that Liverpool are officially out of the race to sign Jude Bellingham, it has opened up a move for Declan Rice.
Had the Reds gone full steam ahead on Bellingham, there’s no way they could have afforded his England teammate as well. But with the 19-year-old out of the picture, it’s feasible that Rice ends up being the man they bring in.
Certainly the move would make sense. Unlike Borussia Dortmund’s Bellingham, Rice has plenty of Premier League experience. Aged just twenty-four, he’s made four shy of 200 appearances in the division for West Ham.
He’s already been installed as captain of his club, played in European competition and has 41 caps for England. Joe Cole called his displays for his country ‘outstanding’ recently and he’s quickly become one of Gareth Southgate’s go-to players.
Crucially, Rice can also fill either the No.6 or No.8 midfield positions that Liverpool are crying for. Put all of that together, as well as the fact that he’s homegrown, and you can see how the former Chelsea academy player would be attractive to Liverpool.
Unfortunately, West Ham know that too. They’re not about to let their biggest asset go on the cheap. But with Rice’s contract due to end in 2025, they don’t have as much leverage as they might initially think. With Bellingham on the table, we weren’t all that keen on bringing the England international in. But as far as consolations go, Rice would be pretty much the next best thing.