Declan Rice will not be part of an initial Manchester United rebuild, but the appointment of Erik ten Hag has encouraged one U-turn.
The news broke on Friday evening that Declan Rice had rejected a third contract offer from West Ham. But the 23-year-old is no closer to upping sticks and leaving the London club. The decision might simply strengthen the Hammers’ resolve to keep him.
Rice’s current deal runs until 2024 but the key could be West Ham’s option to extend it by a further 12 months. That gives them the opportunity to keep the midfielder this summer, safe in the knowledge that ‘he would still have a significant valuation’ with two years remaining on his deal at the end of next season.
Much of this comes down to Rice’s desire to play in the Champions League, which West Ham can fulfil by winning this campaign’s Europa League. But in any event, The Times claim that he will not be sold this summer in the first of what could be many setbacks to Manchester United’s hopes of a rebuild.
I know things can turn sour very quickly, but if he does leave, I hope people recognise all the good he did for West Ham rather than immediately painting him as a money-grabbing villain. https://t.co/ljstEeeXzi
— Grace Robertson ⚧ (@GraceOnFootball) April 22, 2022
One player likely to be part of that process is Marcus Rashford, who was said to be considering his options and contemplating leaving Old Trafford in March. The appointment of Erik ten Hag seems to have encouraged a U-turn.
Not only does he now want to stay and fight for his place in the hope the Dutchman can resuscitate his form, but Rashford will ‘discuss a new and improved contract’ at the club in the summer. His current deal will enter its final year at the end of June so that does make some sense.
Rashford is ‘pleased’ with Ten Hag’s arrival and the incoming manager, according to the Daily Star, similarly wants the striker to be ‘a big part of his plans’ going forward. Everyone is happy.
Cody Gakpo has managed to be an exciting, young Dutch forward linked with the Premier League while simultaneously going under the Manchester United radar. PSV are fending off interest from Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham instead.
Voetbal International describes Gakpo’s departure from his boyhood club as ‘no longer an if, but a when,’ adding that while he recently extended his PSV contract until 2026 – and Eindhoven bosses have suggested he stays for at least another year – the 22-year-old is eager to take the next career step.
The Premier League seems a likely destination, if not Bayern Munich. Gakpo recently ‘internally expressed that he was ready for a step towards a European top competition’ and a €40m ought to be enough to tempt PSV into business.
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