Manchester United have made Declan Rice a top target for 2022 after failing to sign a holding midfielder in the summer, according to reports.
It was reported recently that the 22-year-old, who has been targeted by Chelsea for a considerable amount of time, is highly likely to depart West Ham at the end of the campaign, as he looks to challenge for major trophies and play on the biggest stages.
Rice was unhappy with his current side for effectively ruling out a move for him summer, with West Ham demanding a staggering sum of £100 million for their star midfielder.
As per The Independent, Rice emerged as top of United's target list this summer after meeting Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's requirements more than other options.
Though United did not sign a midfielder this summer, Solskjaer is still keen on adding the England international to his ranks in 2022, and has made the West Ham man his top transfer target.
It has further been stated that Rice would have sealed an exit from his current side this summer were it not for West Ham's incredible valuation of their academy graduate.
Chelsea evaluated the feasibility of adding a central midfielder to their ranks this summer, with the 22-year-old considered as a viable acquisition alongside Eduardo Camavinga and Aurélien Tchouaméni.
Despite being linked with the above trio for a large chunk of the summer transfer window, the European champions signed Saúl Ñíguez on a season-long loan (with an option to buy next year) on Deadline Day after securing the arrival of Romelu Lukaku on a club-record fee of £97.5 million.
The former Chelsea academy man was heavily linked with various Premier League sides this summer, with previous reports suggesting that the west London side had shortlisted Rice as one of their main transfer targets.
It was further claimed that Rice had rejected a number of contract renewal offers in east London amid interest from several sides, though it was added that the England international would not hand in a transfer request owing to the respect he has for the Hammers.
Chelsea's interest in Rice dates back to Frank Lampard's time as Blues boss, with several sources confirming that the Englishman was targeting a swoop for the defensive midfielder in 2020.
It was believed at one stage that West Ham insisted that their academy graduate is not available for any amount of money this summer, as club officials believed that they were in the driving seat to keep hold of their young star, with his existing deal in east London running till 2024, with an option of extending his stay for an additional 12 months.
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