Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has told his pre-West Ham United press conference – as per the Manchester Evening News – that he is a huge admirer of Hammers midfielder Declan Rice, and striker Michail Antonio.
City take on the Hammers this weekend as David Moyes looks to keep his side in the top-four spots in the Premier League. Both Rice and Antonio have been crucial to the Hammers this season, as have the likes of Tomas Soucek and Aaron Cresswell.
Rice, 22, has been captaining the Hammers this season with Mark Noble dropping out of the side. The midfield combination of Rice and Soucek has been fundamental in giving Moyes a chance of taking West Ham into Europe.
However, they face a huge task in stopped the juggernaut that is Manchester City – who kept their winning streak running in the week, stretching to 19 games with a 2-0 win over Gladbach. Guardiola raved about the Hammers duo.
“They are in a Champions League position. That is not a good run, it is many months and they are there,” Guardiola commented. “It means how strong they are. What I saw is the rhythm increased a lot on previous seasons.
“They have fantastic players like Declan Rice. I am a big admirer of him and Antonio is always a headache for his movements. David Moyes – I admire this type of person like [Roy] Hodgson. They have incredibly long careers.”
TBR’s view – Could Manchester City be an option for Rice?
The latest reports from transfer expert Ian McGarry – on the Transfer Window podcast – state that Manchester United and Liverpool are interested in Rice while Chelsea have cooled their approaches. But City could do with him.
Rodri is good, but he is no Fernandinho. City need a holding midfielder who can replace the Brazilian in the long term and you cannot get many better defensive midfielders that Rice right now. This summer is likely to prove an intriguing one for Rice.