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    Manuel Pellegrini casts doubt over Declan Rice’s West Ham future

    West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini has this evening provided a brief update on the future of midfield gem Declan Rice.

    West Ham prodigy

    Versatile 20-year-old Rice is generally deployed as a defensive midfielder, but can also line-out as a central-defender when required.

    After showcasing his massive potential across 26 Premier League appearances for West Ham last season (15 starts), Rice subsequently went on to cement himself as an integral member of Manuel Pellegrini’s midfield throughout this past season.

    The teen started in 34 of the Irons’ 38 league outings, earning rave reviews for his performances versus the likes of Tottenham, Newcastle and Arsenal:

    In fact, so impressive was Rice over the course of the campaign, that, despite his tender years, the no-frills midfielder was handed his senior international debut by England boss Gareth Southgate back in March:

    ‘Cannot say’

    As such, recent reports that a number of the Premier League’s giants have set their sights firmly on Rice’s signature have come as little surprise.

    The likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United have all been named as keen admirers of the starlet’s talents, with English champions City even rumoured to have earmarked Rice as the ideal long-term replacement for Fernandinho.

    LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 22: Gareth Southgate manager of England in discussion with substitute and debutant Declan Rice of England during the 2020 UEFA European Championships Group A qualifying match between England and Czech Republic at Wembley Stadium on March 22, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

    As such, on the back of his side’s impressive showing in their final outing of the season versus Watford yesterday afternoon, West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has since spoken out over the rumors that his side’s crown jewel could be on the move this summer.

    And, in a potential blow to the Hammers’ faithful, Pellegrini point-blank refused to rule out the possibility:

    ‘Maybe some of the big teams, or all of them, will want him. But that is one thing. The other is whether he will stay here or he goes. And I cannot say at this moment.’

    ‘It’s impossible. I cannot know the future. He is, of course, a player who has had a brilliant season, who is 20 years old and an English player who has a lot of qualities.’

    Quotes via the Mirror

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