Manchester United may have an edge over their rivals in the race to acquire Declan Rice. The West Ham midfielder is said to have turned down an eight-year deal that would have earned him a club-record £200,000 per week. The Hammers are anxious to keep their vice-captain, who has scored five goals and provided four assists in 48 appearances this season. He helped West Ham reach the Europa League semi-finals and put them in contention for a top-six finish.
Despite this, Rice appears to have other plans for the future. With his current contract set to expire in 2024, West Ham are anxious to sign him to a new long-term contract, but Rice has turned down many offers, including this one, which would have made him the club’s highest-paid player in its 127-year history.
And, according to The Mirror, insiders close to the defensive midfielder, who is valued at £150 million by West Ham, believe he can earn between £300,000 and £400,000 a week elsewhere. He is also rumored to want to play in the Champions League at his next club.
While United cannot now provide that, with sixth place the most they can achieve this season, they are one of the few teams that can pay Rice more than West Ham is offering. Rice’s qualities are also admired by Chelsea and Manchester City, who can afford to pay him more than David Moyes’ side.
United may have an advantage because Chelsea only has three players earning more than £200,000 per week: Timo Werner, N’Golo Kante, and Romelu Lukaku, and they may be hesitant to pay Rice the same. According to Spotrac, Lukaku earns roughly £325,000 every week.
John Stones, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, and Kevin De Bruyne are the four City players earning more than £200,000 a week. Erling Haaland, a new signing, is anticipated to equal De Bruyne’s club-leading pay of roughly £375,000 per week.
United, on the other hand, has recently demonstrated a readiness to give more players such large salaries. Despite their difficulties, they have seven players earning more than £200,000 per week, including Cristiano Ronaldo, who makes an incredible £2 million each month.
Alexis Sanchez received a comparable salary during his tenure at Old Trafford, with Paul Pogba, David De Gea, Romelu Lukaku, Angel di Maria, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic all earning more recently at Manchester.
While City and Chelsea should be able to provide Champions League football next season, the fact that United are more willing to pay the type of wage Rice’s representatives think he can bring in might be advantageous. Pogba, Edinson Cavani, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic, and Jesse Lingard’s exits are expected to free up roughly £900,000 per week.
If United want to sign Rice this summer, they will need new manager Erik ten Hag to provide a great sales presentation, regardless of their financial might. Any team would do well to wrest the England international from the London Stadium, with the Hammers adamant about keeping him.
However, if he receives a contract offer from United worth £300,000 a week, it’s possible that his representatives will put pressure on him to go. Only time will tell if anyone will be able to get him out of West Ham this summer.
However, if United can place in the top four in Ten Hag’s first season, they may have a better chance at signing Rice in 2023. However, if they demonstrate him this summer that they are ready to spend more per week than any other club, they may still be able to sign him before the Dutchman takes over.