West Ham fans will surely laugh off Stan Collymore’s prediction that midfielder Declan Rice should be targeted by Manchester United this summer.
Writing in a column for the Sunday Mirror, former attacker Collymore said that the 20-year-old would be one of two players who could help Paul Pogba thrive at Old Trafford.
“Ed Woodward clearly doesn’t want to allow Pogba – the jewel in his crown – to leave United this summer and we will have to wait and see if Real Madrid or Juventus can match the minimum £150million United would want,” the pundit wrote.
“So, if he does end up staying, United ought to be trying to sign two players to set him free. It would be hard to get Kante out of Chelsea or Declan Rice out of West Ham, but that doesn’t mean United shouldn’t try for both.
“With those two alongside Pogba, United’s midfield would look a lot more like a United midfield should look.”
While he is correct on a lot of counts – namely that Rice would improve the United midfield – there is surely little chance that West Ham will let go of one of their star midfielders this summer.
As Collymore says himself, it is not going to be easy to prise Rice away from the London Stadium. Firstly, there is the price. The midfielder is likely to command a very high fee, given that he is a young Englishman playing in the Premier League, and a player who has a lot of potential.
That is not going to be a problem for United. They know that they have to spend. But West Ham are now on an upward trend and the club would have identified Rice as the key man they want to keep hold of going into next season.
If the Hammers were to lose Rice, they would take a big hit and it would affect them massively going into next season. But that is surely not going to happen.
Rice would definitely improve the United midfield. He would improve any midfield. But there is surely no way he is going to leave West Ham this summer, with West Ham intent on making him an even more key part of their team next term.