Man United ready to test West Ham resolve with bid for Declan Rice

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Manchester United are keen to test West Ham's resolve over Declan Rice when the transfer window opens.

The Hammers are insistent that the England international is not for sale this summer after leading the east Londoners into Europe.

Manager David Moyes has said it would take "Bank of England plus Bank of Scotland" money to sanction any sale of the 22-year-old, who also has admirers at Chelsea and Manchester City.

Pressure is mounting on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after last night's loss to Villarreal in the Europa League final and the United manager is keen to respond by adding new signings, telling reporters: “Two or three players to strengthen the starting XI is important for us to go even further. I’m sure our contenders, challengers will also want to improve as well.”

A holding midfielder is thought to be United’s priority this summer, along with a central defender and a fresh approach for Borussia Dortmund and England forward Jadon Sancho.

Rice has been a standout performer for West Ham this season, taking the armband from Mark Noble, after the midfielder fell down the pecking order under Moyes, and pushing the club to their first top-six finish since 1999 and a record Premier League points tally.

As well as Moyes's clear stance, sources within the club have knocked back any question of a sale this summer and West Ham have had no contact from Old Trafford over a deal as of yet - though United remain keen to try their luck.

It is understood Rice has no pressing desire to leave the London Stadium this summer and said following the win over Southampton on the final day of the season that he was looking forward to more "good moments" with West Ham.

West Ham are keen to do business with United over a permanent deal for Jesse Lingard, though it is expected that a decision will be left until after the European Championship. If United are to invest significantly this summer, the club know they will also need to sell players - potentially including Lingard, Phil Jones and Daniel James.

Lingard scored nine goals and laid on five assists during his loan spell with West Ham, while forming a close bond with many members of the squad and coaching staff.

 (Getty)
(Getty)

Meanwhile, Moyes is now searching for a new assistant after it was confirmed that Alan Irvine would be stepping back from his full-time role at the club.

The 62-year-old, who has made the decision to reduce his role to a consultancy level because of personal reasons with his family still based in the north, was Moyes's No2 at Everton and during his first spell at West Ham while he also stepped up while the Hammers boss was suffering from coronavirus and isolating.

Kevin Nolan, Xavi Valero, Paul Nevin and Stuart Pearce are all set to stay on and will sign new contracts alongside Moyes next week. Billy McKinlay, who worked at West Ham during Moyes's first spell and alongside the Scot at Real Sociedad, is a contender to return to the staff this summer.

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