David Moyes has already delivered a transfer warning to Manchester United after their long-term pursuit of West Ham midfielder Declan Rice took a significant turn.
The 22-year-old has been a stand-out player for the Hammers this campaign, as they continue to mount a surprise push to qualify for the Champions League by finishing in the top four.
Chelsea and United have continually been linked with a high-profile move for a man who will almost certainly start for England at the delayed Euro 2020 championships this summer.
However, international duty might not be the only thing on Rice’s mind at the end of the season.
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That trio, along with United goalkeeper Dean Henderson and West Ham loanee Jesse Lingard, all formed part of Gareth Southgate’s latest Three Lions squad for the international break last month.
He has long been linked with United, while boyhood club Chelsea are thought to have failed in their attempt to lure him back to Stamford Bridge last summer – much to the disappointment of Frank Lampard.
Amid financial complications brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, the prospect of clubs splashing out the huge amounts of money we are accustomed to seeing appears less likely than during previous windows.
However, in a bid to bridge the gap between themselves and runaway city rivals Manchester City, who are closing in on a third Premier League title in four years, United have picked out Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland as a priority transfer target.
Meanwhile, links with Rice continue, with United keen to strengthen their squad right across the board for the 2021/22 campaign.
If they are to edge out Chelsea and complete a deal for the England international, though, United may well have to stump up in excess of nine-figures – and even that might not be enough, according to his West Ham manager.
When addressing Rice’s future last month, former United manager Moyes said: “I don’t agree with the owners that Declan Rice is a £100million footballer. Far, far more than £100m. Far, far more.
“I look at the players who have joined some clubs from overseas and come in and had nowhere near the impact Declan Rice would have done. I wouldn’t agree with the owners if Declan Rice was only £100m. No, I wouldn’t.
“I have watched the prices of some players who have gone to clubs and they could not lace Declan Rice’s boots.”
Moyes added: “I certainly wouldn’t put a price on it. The owners think he’s worth £100million – I completely disagree with that. You can decide which figure you want to put on it, but I wouldn’t be sanctioning anything like that, that’s for sure.
“I think every player will have a price in football, whoever you name – even [Lionel] Messi has a price.
“At the moment, we have had no contact for Declan and I am not in a hurry to lose him as you can imagine. Declan seems very settled and in fact he is captaining West Ham, plays for England and I want to keep Declan thinking that his ambitions can be achieved here at West Ham.
“I will have to keep pushing that and keep on pushing that with the owners as well.”