West Ham United manager David Moyes has said the club is in danger of losing star midfielder Declan Rice this summer amid speculation Manchester United are tracking the player.
Rice has made impressive strides in recent seasons at London Stadium and is a fully fledged England international. However, the Hammers have toiled this term and are facing up to a relegation battle in the remaining weeks of the Premier League season; they started Week 26 in 18th in the table, a point behind 17th-place Aston Villa.
Moyes was asked about the 21-year-old ahead of West Ham's trip to Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday and said he's hopeful the club can do enough to keep him around beyond the summer, per the Metro:
"In my mind he is arguably the best holding midfield player in the country and the best thing about Declan is he will get better. Declan is carrying a lot of the team at the moment and he's the one who will carry on from Mark Noble when it comes to an end for him.
"Quite often when building a club you have to sell. I hope it's not the case with Declan but I said the same with Wayne Rooney and Joleon Lescott [at Everton]. But the team got better because we were able to sign the right players to replace them. If that ever came around [Rice leaving] I'd hope we'd be able to do the same here as well."
According to Craig Hope the Daily Mail, United hold a serious interest in Rice, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly sending his personal scout to watch the midfielder in action in January.
While Rice's form has dipped this term, he's shown enough in his career to suggest he will be around at the top level for a while. Defensively, the England international is alert to danger. Rice is capable of covering ground quickly, winning tackles and positioning himself to make interceptions, meaning he can provide an effective shield to a defence.
This season, he's been surrounded by a number of underperforming players. In a more consistent team and a more cohesive setup, Rice would surely up his game.
The Red Devils have struggled in midfield this season, although they spent an initial £46.6 million in January to draft in Bruno Fernandes to improve their creative options. Rice would solidify the base of the midfield, although if West Ham stay up, they will surely do all they can to keep him in the capital.