Manchester United are plotting their next major rebuild.
Ajax manager Erik ten Hag is now expected to take over from interim boss Ralf Rangnick (ESPN) and according to recent reports, the Red Devils are set to kick off the Dutchman’s era by way of smashing the British transfer record.
That’s according to a recent report from 90min, who claims the 20-time league winners are ready to break the bank on West Ham’s Declan Rice.
Rice, 23, has rocketed to the top of Europe’s most-wanted list after several fine campaigns with the Hammers.
Emerging as one of the continent’s finest defensive midfielders, not only has the 23-year-old lit up the Premier League, he has also shone for Gareth Southgate’s England.
With his career only heading in one direction, it is likely that fans will see their commanding captain move on at some point in the near future.
The England international has just two years left on his deal but his employers retain the option to trigger an extra year which looks set to drive the midfielder’s asking price up.
Confirming the club’s sky-high valuation, manager David Moyes, who spoke to reporters earlier this year, as quoted by Daily Mail, said: “The first thing to say is that he is not for sale.”
“If you are interested, well, it will be north of that. One hundred was cheap last summer. One hundred and fifty just now would be minimum but he is not for sale. What I do know is that it means there are only certain clubs that could even consider it.”
Speaking about Rice’s contractual situation, super-agent and CaughtOffside columnist Rob Segal said: “I think Declan Rice is slightly snookered now. He was going to go back to Chelsea – that was the worst kept secret in the industry but Chelsea isn’t in the same position now, obviously.
“Rice still has a good while left on his contract, two years with West Ham having an option for another, so he is in a bit of a tricky spot now.”
Although United are not the midfielder’s only admirers, with Liverpool and Chelsea also keen, regardless of which side ends up luring the 23-year-old from the London Stadium, it looks set to take a mammoth bid.
Jack Grealish became the country’s most expensive player last summer after leaving Aston Villa in favour of a £100m move to Manchester City. However, if any club were to meet the Hammers’ £150m demands for Rice, it goes without saying, a potential deal would blow any other transfer out of the water.