By Beck Pascal

15th Feb, 2022 | 2:30pm

Manchester City not interested in West Ham ace Declan Rice - report

Manchester City will not be entering the race to sign West Ham midfielder Declan Rice this summer, according to Claret and Hugh

Pep Guardiola has been dubbed a ‘massive admirer’ of Declan Rice amid links to bring the England international to the Etihad. 

However, the Premier League champions believe Rice’s desired location is Old Trafford and do not wish to enter a bidding war with their neighbours.

Claret & Hugh’s source in Manchester said: “Pep is really impressed by Rice but he knows the club need to prioritise a world class forward this summer after playing two seasons without a recognised striker.

“The overall package to sign Haaland means City can’t afford to sign Rice as well. They believe West Ham are well within their rights to demand what they want for him, but City can’t make the numbers work and will sign a cheaper defensive midfield option instead.”

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This is bittersweet. It obviously increases the chances of the Hammers star man staying in east London for longer with one less big team in for him but if he wants to leave, that won’t stop him. 

However, Man City being in the frame left West Ham fans licking their lips.

If they start a bidding war with Manchester United or Chelsea, maybe even both, the Irons would have got a hell of a lot more for Rice. 

There is still a chance that United and Chelsea could have their very own bidding war for the England international with the pair of them leading the rumours at every turn. 

But everyone at the club will hope he stays of course. He has the chance to solidify him as a Hammers legend if he stays and continues to perform like he has done over the last few years.

Admittedly he has seemingly dragged the team with him at times, but this is the best shape the club has been in in a long time and if that doesn’t sway him, nothing will.

In other Irons news, West Ham plot major summer contract negotiations for Jarrod Bowen – report.