Liverpool are one of a number of Premier League sides set to compete over West Ham man Declan Rice, as reported by 90 Min (via This Is Anfield).
According to the player’s family – who the publication suggests it has sources close to – the destination that the Englishman ends up at will be largely influenced by which position his suitors offer.
“A centre-back in his youth, Rice has excelled as a defensive midfielder since his breakthrough to senior football in 2017, and it is understood that he hopes to remain in that position if he does choose to leave West Ham,” Tom Gott wrote for 90 Min. “As it stands, Chelsea see Rice as a long-term answer to their problems at centre-back – a view shared by City – whereas fellow suitors United and Liverpool would prefer to keep him in a midfield role instead.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic reportedly forcing the London side to lower their asking price from an expected £80m to £50m for the highly-rated 22-year-old, the number of interested parties could yet increase.
It’s an interesting link, particularly given how desperately Liverpool need a central defender, though one we’d be inclined to take with a pinch of salt at this current moment in time.
However, given how brilliantly Fabinho has filled in for sidelined centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, one might speculate that Jurgen Klopp will be particularly tempted to trial out a partnership comprised of the Dutchman and our No.3.
It would mean that Gomez and Joel Matip would effectively act as our backup centre-halves, leaving Rice free to take up his favoured midfield spot.
Either way, with Gini Wijnaldum looking increasingly likely to depart the club for La Liga in the summer, we will potentially be faced with the difficult task of finding a replacement.
Whether the West Ham star would fit the bill is a question worth exploring, particularly for a cut-price fee.