Manuel Pellegrini has suggested that if a Premier League rival offers a “good deal” for Declan Rice then West Ham would be prepared to sell him.
The 20-year-old has been one of the league’s breakthrough stars this season and has become a mainstay of the Hammers’ midfield.
His form has earned him a call-up to the England squad – after switching allegiance from the Republic of Ireland – and he made his debut for Gareth Southgate’s side in Friday’s Euro 2020 qualifier against the Czech Republic as a substitute before starting the win over Montenegro three days later.
Rice has been touted as a potential target for both Manchester clubs and Pellegrini admits that a big-money offer might be enough to persuade the Hammers to cash in on one of their most prized assets.
“In that case, as always, it is just a matter of price,” Pellegrini told a media conference ahead of West Ham’s clash with Everton on Saturday.
“There are big teams who decide to pay an important amount of money. Sure, if it is a good deal for the club and the player and improves his career then we can do it. But I don’t know nothing about that yet.”
Loved my first week away with @England. Special way to top it off getting my full competitive debut tonight in such a great performance from all the lads. Already looking forward to the summer pic.twitter.com/ysSJuvNB6a
— Declan Rice (@_DeclanRice) March 25, 2019
When asked if he was surprised by Rice’s assured displays for the Three Lions over the past week, Pellegrini responded: “No. I know Declan Rice. I have said before that he is a young player, just 20 years old, but his mind is of an adult player.
“He never feels pressure playing here or with the national squad. I was absolutely sure his level of performance would be exactly the same. He is a top, top player.
“He must continue doing exactly what he is doing now, to work in the same way, have the same mentality. He knows he must improve, that is why he is always listening and learning.”
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