West Ham have received a boost in the Declan Rice saga. According to The Daily Star, Manchester United have turned their attention to Sandro Tonali as a cheaper alternative to Rice.
The Hammers do not want to lose their prize asset and will demand a sizeable transfer fee for the 20-year-old. But Man United are reluctant to pay a huge fee for Rice and will look at Tonali instead.
Tonali is an Italy U21 international who already has experience in Serie A with Brescia after winning promotion last season. The 19-year-old is a deep-lying midfielder compared to Andrea Pirlo and he will cost £45m.
Man United face competition from a number of other clubs. Juventus, Roma, Valencia and Borussia Dortmund have also been mentioned in this report as potential suitors for Tonali.
West Ham must not lower demands
West Ham must not be bullied by the so-called ‘Premier League giants’ if we want to progress. Rice is an integral part of the squad and he showed exactly why against Man United on Sunday.
Operating in between the midfield and the defence, Rice performs his job so well that Gareth Southgate has taken notice. The England international is now a regular starter in the holding midfield role for the Three Lions.
It is no surprise to see the bigger clubs sniffing around and trying to land Rice on a bargain deal. But selling him could have catastrophic effects on and off the pitch for West Ham.
Rice is a special player; the type that only comes around once in a generation – if that. When you stumble across talent of this sort, you cannot undervalue them. There is no reason why West Ham should cave in and lower the asking price for Rice – he is a Hammer with a long-term contract and it will stay that way.