Despite these rumors, according to the Manchester Evening News, West Ham gaffer David Moyes said that The Hammers have no plans on letting Rice go.
However, as the winter transfer window just opened, the minds of fans across the globe start to ponder. When thinking about the Rice to Manchester City transfer, it’s not as simple as just transferring in a new player, there would be a few layers to his acquisition.
One layer that would have to be looked at is how Rice would fit into Guardiola’s 4-3-3 formation and City’s style of play.
In Moyes’ 4-2-3-1 formation, Rice is used as a defensive midfielder who plays a pivotal part in the transition defence of West Ham’s midfield.
The same can be said about how Gareth Southgate used Rice in the various formations he utilised during Euro 2020, regardless of whether it was a 3-4-3, 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3, Rice always proved to be successful in the midfield.
In Pep Guardiola’s 4-3-3 midfield, which tends to be more attacking focused, there is usually one defence-minded midfielder, which as of late has been Rodri.
In the past, Guardiola has gone on record as stating that he likes the style of football that Rice plays, so the question of City reaching out to West Ham in a similar way to how they talked to Tottenham over Harry Kane isn’t out of the question.
If Rice was brought in, it could complicate Rodri’s future with Manchester City. The Spaniard is currently in his third season with City and has been on a tear as of late, most recently scoring the goal which helped the Blues edge out a late win against Arsenal.
It might not sit well with Rodri and his agent if his reward for amazing play over the previous two seasons was to be replaced by Rice. However, Rodri isn’t the only defence-minded midfielder at the Etihad, the other player would be the aging Fernandinho.
As it stands, Fernandinho’s contract is set to expire on June 30. By then, the veteran midfielder will be 37 years old, so City may be hesitant to offer him an extension for the second straight year.
If Rice doesn’t move during the winter transfer window, City may look to make a move in the summer transfer window, to help patch the hole in their midfield left by the pending departure of Fernandinho.
If the blues do bring in Rice, it would then become a question of would the midfielder be a constant figure in the starting XI?
This may trouble some fans as it could become a situation similar to what is going on now with the recent acquisition of Jack Grealish, who after being purchased for a fee of £100-million ($134-million), has only made 14 appearances so far.
The last question regarding the possible Rice transfer would be the price tag that comes with him. During the summer transfer window, West Ham valued Rice at £100-million following a Euro 2020 campaign with England which saw Rice finish as a runner-up.
If West Ham still values Rice at £100-million, which there isn’t much of a reason to believe that they don’t given their performance so far this season in the Premier League and their Champions League aspirations, it may be better for them to go after something they need immediately such as a true striker, but that is a story for another day.
If there is a move to make involving Rice, it will have to happen before the winter transfer window closes on Monday, Jan. 31 at 23:00 GMT/11:00 PM EST.
Would Declan Rice be a good fit at Manchester City?