What’s the word?
Arsenal are allegedly front runners for the 24-year-old’s signature, but Chelsea and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are also firmly in the race to sign the player whose outfit are resigned to losing this year following the rejection of a contract extension.
And now, according to Italian journalist Rudy Galetti, speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the Reds could indeed swoop for the ace this summer, with the Hammers demanding at least £80m for their most coveted asset.
Galetti said: “It’s an open race. It’s an evolving situation because also Chelsea and Liverpool are interested in him. We have to wait a few more weeks to better understand the future of Declan Rice.”
Could it be bye-bye Fabinho?
Given the stark decline in form and fluidity for Liverpool this season – who won the FA Cup and Carabao Cup last term, finishing second in the league and losing the Champions League final – it is hardly surprising that Klopp and co are seeking stability that could only be landed from outside the Anfield walls.
The Merseyside giants languish in ninth place in the English top flight with a miserable eight victories from 19 matches; Arsenal, for comparison, have double this amount.
The results have been alarming, but the manner of the slide from the former standing is of the gravest concern, and Klopp must indeed act with lightning conviction to ensure the club rekindle the fire that burned so brightly at the heart of Anfield previously.
By clinching the highly-sought Rice, who has made 221 appearances for United since rising from the youth ranks, Liverpool would wield one of the sturdiest anchors in the Premier League, a “monster” – as dubbed by “ESPNUK editor David Cartlidge – who boasts a remarkable ball-playing aptitude and robust physicality to inject the much-needed life back into the Reds’ system.
As per Sofascore, he has recorded an average league rating of 7.25 this season, remarkable given his side’s woes, with his 89% passing accuracy, 2.3 tackles and 1.6 interceptions per game imperative in assuring West Ham do not sink deeper than the lowly 16th position they currently occupy.
And as per FBref, he ranks among the top 6% of midfielders for pass completion and the top 7% for interceptions across Europe’s big five leagues, illuminating his assurance and sweeping presence.
With his prospective Anfield arrival, he could prompt Klopp to boldly ditch Fabinho, who is enduring the toughest campaign of his Premier League career, with his average rating of 6.86 a gulf below Rice’s, while also being the lowest score from his five seasons for Liverpool.
And with the “special” Rice – as labelled by former reporter Sam Inkersole – bettering the Brazilian’s 1.8 tackles and 1.1 interceptions a match this season, the 29-year-old might find himself expendable if he cannot rekindle his former form.
Fabinho has been a stalwart for Klopp’s Liverpool and an embodiment of the success over the past several years; relentless pace and unflinching intensity. However, the Brazilian has indeed been at the epicentre of the issues this term, and the younger, fresher and flourishing Rice could take his role and ensure Liverpool’s wayward endeavours steer firmly back on course.