Declan Rice makes his thoughts on Old Trafford clear in Man Utd transfer hint

November 1, 2022

England international Declan Rice captained West Ham in their narrow Premier League defeat to Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

Every Premier League footballer dreams of playing at Old Trafford – and West Ham skipper Declan Rice is no different.

The 23-year-old led his team to a 1-0 away defeat to Manchester United on Sunday afternoon thanks to a winner from Marcus Rashford. Rice’s performance was good – as we’ve come to expect from the midfielder – but his comments about Old Trafford before the game raised eyebrows considering the recent transfer speculation.

“It’s inspiring for sure – it’s Old Trafford,” Rice told Sky Sports, as he took a look around the famous ground. “You think of the heritage, the big games that have been here, the top players that’ve played here. You want to come here as a player and stamp your mark and stamp your authority – one to get a win, and two to play well yourself.”

United were interested in Rice earlier this year before signing Casemiro and Christian Eriksen to revamp their midfield. West Ham were never planning on selling him in the summer, but many still believe he is destined to join a so-called “Big Six” club.

Rice has established himself as one of the best holding midfielders in Europe since he was let go by Chelsea at the age of 14. He joined West Ham’s academy and made his Premier League debut in May 2017, racking up 179 appearances in the division to date.

Rice made his international debut for the Republic of Ireland in 2018 – earning three senior caps – but changed his international allegiance the following year. He’s gone on to play 34 times for England, helping Gareth Southgate’s side reach the final of Euro 2020. Although Rice is yet to win a major honour, he has picked up countless individual prizes. He is a two-time Player of the Year at West Ham – also winning the Young Player of the Year gong twice – and was named in the Europa League Team of the Season in 2021/22.

Rice has also become a club captain at a relatively young age. He gained the armband at West Ham following the retirement of Mark Noble in the summer, although he was already accustomed to wearing it having done so on numerous occasions in recent years. There’s no doubt Rice is good enough to play Champions League football.

It’s easy to see why the likes of United have monitored Rice’s progress at West Ham. Calls for Erik ten Hag to sign the holding midfielder have quietened since Casemiro and Eriksen arrived on the scene, yet there’s every chance they could get louder soon.