Darren Gough suggests Manchester United could make a move for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice in the January transfer window.

Rice, 22, has played a pivotal role in the Irons’ spectacular start to the 2021/22 campaign, skippering the side in the absence of club captain Mark Noble.

The way Rice has assumed the armband at the London Stadium has impressed Gough, who suggested the possibility of him replacing Harry Maguire as Red Devils captain.

“It is an area where Manchester United are looking to strengthen [midfield],” Gough told talkSPORT [30 November].

“I know Declan Rice was linked last year, he’s also linked to other clubs and he’s probably going to be one of the most sought after players in the Premier League.

“Now, we’ve seen he’s been a big leader at West Ham, so you’ve got a player there who Manchester United might be interested in at the end of the season, or even [in] January.”

No mid-season exit

Clubs very rarely grant significant exits during the January transfer window, particularly those operating towards the upper echelons of the Premier League.

If they do, it’s usually because the player in question is unwanted or the player is forcing a move – Fernando Torres’ switch from Liverpool to Chelsea in 2011 is one of the most high-profile January deals between Premier League sides, and the money proved too lucrative for the Reds to turn down.

But Rice is still a highly-valued member of the West Ham team, and he’s not likely to push for an imminent exit either, which rules out those as factors for him leaving.

He’s certainly an ideal choice for Manchester United as they seek to address some glaring issues in their squad.

Rice would slot straight into their midfield while he would be a better fit as captain than Maguire.

But he certainly won’t be on the move until at least the summer of 2022, and possibly later than that.

In other West Ham news, UEFA took major financial action over the Irons on Tuesday.

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The post ‘I know’ – talkSPORT pundit moots West Ham player exit in Jan, could take over as club’s captain appeared first on West Ham Zone.

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