Varane deal 'a sign of Man Utd's aims'
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Manchester United and Chelsea have been warned off Declan Rice by West Ham manager David Moyes. The midfielder had been the subject of serious interest from both clubs in the wake of his commanding performances at Euro 2020, but the Hammers’ valuation seems to have done the trick of fending off approaches for now.
West Ham finished sixth last season, just two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in what was a tremendous campaign for the Hammers.
After a slow start, Moyes constructed a side firmly in his own image, so his preference is logically to stick with the tried and trusted recipe rather than start afresh with millions in the transfer market.
The manager told talkSPORT: “We’ve got some players that we value at £100million and we won’t be selling them.
“That’s the way it is, you’re not going to get rid of your better players, you don’t do it. And if you are then it’s going to be for huge money.
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“We’re trying to improve. What we’re saying to ourselves, or I am certainly, is I want to add to our squad if I can do so.”
Rice dropped several hints of a desire to move to Stamford Bridge while on England duty this summer, although a move is yet to materialise.
The 22-year-old has a long-standing friendship with Mason Mount, having been part of the Chelsea youth academy until 2014.
Just one year after his departure, he was already making first-team appearances for West Ham, originally at centre-back before transitioning to midfield.
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Earlier in the summer, it seemed as though the Blues were flirting with the idea of a move, despite the player’s £100m price-tag.
However, Jorginho’s fantastic performances for Italy at Euro 2020 may have eventually swayed them against the idea.
The move seems even more unlikely now that Chelsea are on the verge of splashing £97.5m on Romelu Lukaku, whose official arrival from Inter Milan is expected to be announced imminently.
That kind of investment would effectively end the Blues’ involvement in the summer transfer market, or at least price them out of a move for a player of Rice’s calibre.
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United were also thought to be interested, with various central-midfield options being considered at Old Trafford over the past few weeks.
However, having shelled out well over £100m on Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, it looks as if another mammoth transfer fee would be a bridge too far.
Now that West Ham are on the home stretch in terms of keeping hold of their top talent, it seems that Moyes has put out one final warning to those even considering an approach, which the Scotsman will hope to see them over the line with their key players intact.
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