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'intelligent' West Ham ace dubbed 'special talent' reportedly linked with Premier League duo

Declan Rice has made quite the impact since he burst on the scene for West Ham United back in 2016, drawing attention from a number of clubs.

His performances have seen him earn a spot in midfield for England with the ace expected to feature alongside the likes of Jordan Henderson and Kalvin Phillips in this summer’s European Championship.

Chelsea attacker and Rice’s best friend, Mason Mount once lavished the Hammers man with praise, claiming he is ‘really intelligent’ and a ‘special talent.’

And who can fault the Blues man over his comments about the 22-year-old after what has been a storming start to life in professional football.

With Mark Noble rarely starting for the East Londoners this term, the youngster has carried the responsibility of wearing the armband for the club, captaining the outfit in 20 of the 37 Premier League games this season.

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His leadership qualities prove well beyond his tender age and is a sign of how fast he’s developed in such a short span of time.

So, given his consistency, it was a given he’d attract attention at some point in his career.

According to The Athletic, Manchester City and the Red Devils are competing to sign the former Chelsea academy product this summer.

With West Ham having struggled to maintain their bid for Champions League football towards the end of this season, a move could well be on the cards.

However, it will prove a heartbreaking transfer for anyone associated with the club given how well Rice anchors the midfield for David Moyes’ side.

Almost everything goes through the England international, who possesses the highest pass accuracy of any player to have started more than five league games.

The £54m-rated player also averages more passes per game than any of his West Ham teammates, highlighting just how crucial he is to the side.

Rice’s qualities make for a sticky situation for the Irons. Whilst they don’t want to lose a quality player, they’ll need to prove far more consistent and maintain their place at the top-half of the Premier League standings to have a chance of keeping the ace.

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