Carlton Cole has told Goal that he feels Declan Rice has got to remain at West Ham United this summer, despite being linked with a move to both Manchester clubs this summer.
The Sun claimed earlier this year that 20-year-old Rice was a £70million target for Pep Guardiola’s City, who are looking to add more homegrown talent to their ranks. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Ben Chilwell have also been linked.
But Manchester United are also said to be interested in England international Rice, who has shone under Manuel Pellegrini throughout the 2018-19 campaign – since being moved into the middle of the park.
Former Hammers striker Cole, who is currently working in West Ham’s youth set-up, has urged Rice to ignore the clutches of the Premier League’s biggest sides and continue to develop at the London Stadium.
“I would urge to Declan to think twice about looking beyond West Ham at this stage in his career,” Cole said. “He should stay where he is for a few years because he is one of the main men in the team.
“That won’t be the case if he joins one of the big clubs. He should learn his trade properly and West Ham is the perfect stage for him to do that. Declan is a sensible lad and knows that leaving now would be a risk for him.”
Cole is absolutely spot on. Manchester United already have a player like Rice, in Nemanja Matic, while Manchester City boast Fernandinho. Though both are entering the final years of their career, they are still excellent players.
So much so, that they would get in the side above Rice. There are still areas of Rice’s game that need improving, and only first-team football can help that. He has got to remain at the London Stadium.