‘Man Utd isn’t the place to go’

Declan Rice has been warned off a transfer to Manchester United with Anton Ferdinand saying Old Trafford is not a place to be going in the current climate.

Rice has continued his rapid rise this season becoming West Ham’s key man. That has led to interest from the Premier League big guns with Man Utd, Manchester City and Chelsea are believed to be watching his progress.

West Ham though they have remained firm in their stance that the England man is not for sale.

Boss David Moyes also recently claimed that the 23-year-old’s price tag has surpassed £150m, not that the Hammers want to sell.

But Rice has reportedly turned down another contract offer from the club. His existing deal expires in 2024, but there is a 12-month option to extend that. And Moyes does not see any reason to panic.

Rice though has spoken publicly about his desire to win trophies. Ferdinand though has said Man Utd is not the place for that.

Former Hammers star Ferdinand told The Sun: “Man Utd isn’t the place to go right now. They’re going through a massive transitional period.

“For me personally, if I’m Rice, Man Utd is not a place that I’d be going. I’d wait a few years and see what Ten Hag does.

“Whether he can implement what he did at Ajax at Man Utd and get them looking more like a team that can challenge.

“Otherwise, what’s the point in leaving West Ham to go somewhere you’re not even challenging for a title.

“You’re challenging to get into Europe. That’s what West Ham are doing – challenging to get into the Champions League.

‘At Man Utd, you’ll be one of many’

“We’ve got something to build on. He’d be in the same place at Man Utd and all it would come down to is the stature of the football club.

“As a footballer myself, I’m not going somewhere just because it’s a bigger club.

“You’ve got everything at a club where you’re loved and you’re the main man.

“At Man Utd, you’ll be one of many. Whereas, you can stay at West Ham and challenge for Europe and be the main man.”

Ferdinand, who saw his older brother Rio leave West Ham for Leeds in 2000, says keeping Rice would be the best news of the summer.

“Me personally, I’d rather stay [than join United],” added the 37-year-old.

“But if it was one of the teams that were fighting for the league, and they came up with the money, it would be hard for West Ham to keep him.

“Like I said, if he did go, as fans we’d appreciate what he has done for the club.

“He’d always be loved and classed as a legend.

“And if we got £100m-plus for him and it went back into the playing squad, then we can’t grumble.

Keeping Rice would be the best news of the summer, even if he doesn’t sign a new deal.

Rice is ‘involved in everything’

“We’re going to need him, that’s a fact. He has added more to his game than him.

“He has added more goals, he drives with the ball.

“He’s not just sitting and breaking the play up. He’s involved with everything.

“But this is football and when the likes of Man City are interested in you and they can pay the money – if we do lose him we’ve got to get as much as we can.

“Gone are the days of Harry Maguire going for £80m. Rice, £100m-plus, that’s a fact.

“If we are going to lose him, we’ve got to lose him to good money and it has to be invested back into the playing squad.

“My take on it, and I know some fans feel the same way. If we did lose him, we would be gutted.

“But if we maximized the money on him and that money went back into the playing squad, the fans would be happy.”

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