It was just a matter of time before the Premier League’s big boys started surrounding West Ham’s and England’s star.
He has established himself as the finest player in east London, and a trusted member of Gareth Southgate’s national team set-up, despite being only 22 years old.
Although the Hammers have progressed significantly under David Moyes in the last 18 months or so, the truth remains that West Ham will never be able to compete with the likes of Manchester United unless they are bought over by a consortium or an individual with money to spend.
Perhaps with this in mind, the Independent reports that Rice’s move to Old Trafford is a “near certainty” for next summer.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is assembling a fantastic group, and the Red Devils look to be on the verge of contending for the top honours once more.
With Rice on board, they may be able to break into the Premier League for the first time. He really is that excellent.
West Ham refused to accept proposals of less than £100 million this summer, which eventually stymied any transfer.
The Hammers can’t be in any doubt that their captain’s future lies elsewhere, and unless they can promise him Champions League football before the end of the season, or a significant squad investment to demonstrate their goals, Rice will make an easy decision.