By Anthony Onifade

1st Mar, 2023 | 10:05pm

Roy Keane stuns Ian Wright as he reacts live on-air to Manchester United transfer suggestion v West Ham United

Roy Keane slammed Declan Rice live on ITV amid suggestions the West Ham midfielder could be undergoing an audition at Old Trafford for a future transfer ahead of his side’s FA Cup tie against Manchester United.

The Sun reported on 6 February that Manchester United failed in a £100m attempt to bring Rice to Old Trafford during this summer’s transfer window.

Ahead of the Hammers’ FA Cup tie live on ITV [1 March] with Manchester United, presenter Mark Pougatch suggested that Rice could be undertaking an auction ahead of a potential Old Trafford move.

However, Keane responded, criticising the player’s performances this season. He said: “Obviously, he’s got to focus on doing well for West Ham between now and the rest of the season.

“I don’t think he’s been that great this season, I really don’t. I think he’s not really kicked on.

“For all the talk about him, a lot of good PR coming out of West Ham on how much he’s worth, I think he needs to do a lot more. Doesn’t score enough goals, he doesn’t get enough assists.”

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Ian Wright, alongside Keane, shouted out in disagreement “Wow!”

Wow indeed!

These are hugely baffling and rather controversial comments blasted out by Keane, and it will lead many to think he simply has not been watching Rice enough to have this kind of opinion.

The 24-year-old has easily been the club’s most consistent and best performer in what’s been a rather disappointing campaign for the club, where they currently sit just two points outside the relegation places.

Whatever Keane thinks, the England international will certainly be moving onto greener pastures this summer, and the former Manchester United man has totally ignored the player’s terrific performances at the World Cup in Qatar.

Rice has the pick of elite clubs to move to this summer, for which he has a huge decision to make. But Keane’s comments are indeed absurd. The Hammers academy product has easily been one of the league’s best-performing midfielders for a long while.

A defensive midfielder doesn’t need to be scoring or assisting. For what they should be offering, Rice is amongst the best at it on the continent.