Man Utd's worst ever Premier League season
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West Ham have reportedly reiterated that they will not sell Declan Rice this summer, despite the midfielder rejecting the offer of a new £200,000 per week contract. Rice is understood to be on Manchester United’s list of targets, though is under contract until 2024.
The Hammers have repeatedly attempted to tie him down to a longer-term deal, but he has rejected three proposals. Rice’s rejections have led to several teams turning their attention to him, especially in the wake of his impressive performances over the past two seasons.
But despite Rice rejecting them for a third time, The Mirror report that West Ham have made it clear they will ‘refuse’ to sell him this summer. They are said to be ‘keen’ to keep him from moving to a Premier League rival and are ‘confident’ no one will match their £150million asking price.
Rice himself though is keen to play in the Champions League, a competition the Hammers defintely will not be taking part in next season. A place in the Europa League is West Ham’s best chance of playing European football next term, with David Moyes’ men having a game in hand on sixth-placed United.
The Red Devils are said to be ‘hunting’ players who can improve their options in midfield. United will see Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba all leave at the end of the season.
Midfield is generally seen as one of United’s biggest weaknesses, with incoming boss Erik ten Hag making the position a priority for the summer window. They are not the only club interested in testing West Ham’s desire to keep Rice though.
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Manchester City are also expected to be in the market for a new midfielder with veteran Fernandinho departing at the end of his contract. Chelsea have also long been admirers of Rice, though his monster price tag is likely to put the Blues off making a firm move.
Rice’s performances this season have marked him out as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League. He has helped the Hammers to the edge of another top six finish, which they can achieve if they win one of their last two matches and United fail to beat Crystal Palace on the final day.
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