Joe Cole names two alternatives for Man United transfer target Declan Rice to consider

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Former West Ham star Joe Cole has offered some intriguing advice to Declan Rice amid plenty of transfer gossip surrounding the England midfielder’s future.

Rice has emerged as one of the most exciting young players in Europe in recent times, and it seems pretty likely that West Ham are going to face a big fight to keep hold of him as bigger clubs circle.

The 23-year-old has been linked with Manchester United by The Athletic and others, and he certainly looks like he’d be a fine fit in a problem position at Old Trafford.

Back in the day, Cole was another top young player at West Ham who ended up being snapped up by a bigger team, with the classy attacking midfielder spending his peak years at Chelsea.

Declan Rice celebrates a goal for West Ham

When discussing Rice, however, Cole made it clear he felt that Man Utd wouldn’t be the best move for him.

Speaking during punditry duty with BT Sport, as quoted by the Metro, Cole said Rice should consider Manchester City instead, or even stay at West Ham.

“I wouldn’t go [to United] if I was Declan Rice, no. I think you run the risk of going there and still not winning trophies,” Cole said.

“I think if Man City were on the table, you’d go there because in recent years it guarantees you trophies and I think Declan would want that.

“But for me there’s no reason for him to not stay at West Ham if the progress is still going in that [upward] pattern, but that’s for him and the owners. He needs better players around him at West Ham to go to that next level.”

That Athletic piece also linked Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Jude Bellingham as a target for United, and former Red Devil Luke Chadwick recently told us he’d prefer the former Birmingham City wonderkid over Rice anyway, even though he also had plenty of praise for the Hammers starlet.

“They’re two fantastic players,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside. “It’s a huge choice. I’d probably lean towards Bellingham – someone a bit younger, but with European experience at Dortmund.

Rice or Bellingham to Manchester United?

“Obviously Declan Rice has shown huge improvement, he’s really evolved as a player. He started out as a central defender and was sort of converted into a holding midfield player, but now he looks the complete midfield player. He gets box to box, carries the ball, has a good range of passing.

“Bellingham, a teenage sensation, he did well at Birmingham and has excelled since going to Dortmund. Again he’s got a bit of everything to his game, he’s good in possession and has high energy off the ball too.

“He’s someone who could really push United on. Having said that, you wouldn’t say no to Declan Rice either. It’s not a bad problem to have, if they can get one of those two in.”

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