The Sun reports that the Red Devils are closely monitoring his situation and will be one of the first to move for the midfielder, who is valued by his club at £100 million.
The 22-year-old has been the subject of various transfer speculations since last season but stayed put at West Ham to help them achieve more than what they did last season.
The Hammers are on course for another finish in the European places, proving that last season was not just a purple patch for them. Rice has been a key part of the team that is making West Ham fans dream.
That dream could be over in the summer as United are reportedly ready to match West Ham’s valuation of the player once the summer transfer window opens.
The move, however, will depend on West Ham missing out on UEFA Champions League this season, which is the team’s target after they reached the Europa League last season.
Where Rice could fit in at Old Trafford
Ralf Rangnick is reportedly on board with the move by United hierarchy as he seeks to build a strong team to achieve the club’s objectives and one which he will most likely pass on as he takes a role higher up in the hierarchy of Old Trafford.
Manchester United have received calls from their fans to find midfielders who can provide adequate cover for the defence while starting attacking moves.
None of the current crop have been able to fulfill that role expertly at Old Trafford, but Rice could slot in seamlessly and provide exactly what United need.
Rangnick reportedly wants to mould the system around Rice, a far cry from their attack-heavy style in the past few seasons.
After failing to sign any midfielder in the summer following the arrivals of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, signing Rice could be the missing piece of the United puzzle to take them back to the top of England.
West Ham boss David Moyes will no doubt be vying to keep hold of Rice but as stated earlier, his leverage will weaken if West Ham fail to qualify for the Champions League next season.
Graeme Souness urges City to hijack United’s move for Rice
Former Liverpool defender and Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness has advised Manchester City to hijack any deal for Declan Rice.
Souness sees the West Ham man as an “obvious replacement” for the ageing Fernandinho and believes City would benefit from the player’s talents.
“Jack Grealish’s transfer from Aston Villa to Manchester City for £100million means that’s where the bidding is likely to start for Rice, who’s four years younger at 22,” Souness told the Sunday Times.
“City already have the strongest group of players in the history of English football, but still collect the best players they can.
“Yes, they have Rodri, but Fernandinho’s 36 and in the final six months of his contract, so Rice is an obvious replacement because they have the finances and are buying when they are on top.
“City, Chelsea and United will all pay a premium for Rice. The only argument you can offer if you’re buying is that he’s not a striker and that’s where the big money generally goes. It might take Rice to another level.”
Souness also admitted that Rice has already gone on to surpass his expectations.
“At first, I feared he might become one of those ‘steady Eddies’ who play it safe and square all the time and say they ‘recycle possession’ rather than have an impact on matches for their teams,” Souness said.
“I still want him to see the picture and deliver the pass earlier, to make more telling passes in the final third, but that could come with confidence and he rarely gives the ball away.”