Manchester City are considering launching a bid for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice as they continue their search for Fernandinho’s long-term successor at the Etihad.
The 19-year-old has been one of Manuel Pellegrini’s star performers this season after the Chilean manager moved Rice from his natural centre-back position and into midfield, where he acts as the anchorman alongside Pedro Obiang or Mark Noble.
Meanwhile, City’s indispensable defensive midfielder Fernandinho is entering the twilight stage of his career and previous attempts to sign the Brazilian’s understudy – namely Chelsea’s Jorginho – have failed to come to fruition.
As their search continues, Pep Guardiola’s scouting team have identified Rice as a possible candidate to slot into Manchester City’s first team, and The Sun claims that the Premier League champions haven’t been deterred by the fact that the midfielder put pen to paper on a new contract with West Ham last month.
It’s claimed that it could cost roughly £50m to prise Rice away from West Ham, although any deal for the midfielder would be put on hold until at least the summer as Guardiola wants to build up an in-depth understanding of the teenager throughout the remainder of the season.
The London-born, Republic of Ireland international came through the same youth academy as the likes of Tammy Abraham, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and most recently Callum Hudson-Odoi at Chelsea, before leaving for West Ham in 2013.
He’s gone on to make 54 appearances across all competitions for the first team at London Stadium, claiming one assist during a Carabao Cup win over Macclesfield Town earlier this season.