Premier League champions Manchester City have had an enquiry for West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice knocked back, according to Sky Sports.
The broadcaster revealed the news on its news and transfer centre [19:/06; 12:13], claiming that Pep Guardiola’s team have made initial contact with the Hammers.
However, their enquiry was knocked back by the east London outfit, as was their fierce rivals Manchester United, who are also interested in the England international.
City, once again hot favourites in the football betting tips for next season’s Premier League title, see Rice as a fall back option should their move for Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri fall through, although the Spaniard has told his club he wants to join the Citizens.
While it’s always concerning when two huge teams come sniffing for your best player, this isn’t the end of the world for West Ham. The United interest has long been established, but it appears that they are going to face frustration in their pursuit of the 20-year-old. City, on the other hand, are a different kettle of fish. They are a tremendous team with arguably the best manager in the world and are coming off a treble-winning season. Rice would be crazy not to want to join them. However, it’s clear that Guardiola doesn’t see the Hammers ace as his number one target in central midfield. He wants Rodri, with Rice merely his back up option. That, conversely, is good news for West Ham. It seems as if the club are being firm in their stance on Rice – and his teammate Issa Diop for that matter – and are unwilling to be bullied into agreeing to a sale for their best player.