West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini can breathe a sigh of relief over the future of Manchester United target Declan Rice.
That’s if a new report from The Daily Express is anything to go by.
Speculation over the future of West Ham star Rice has been making the headlines again this week.
Rice has established himself as one of the first names on Pellegrini’s teamsheet at West Ham.
Rolls Rice attracting unwanted attention
His form sparked a battle for his international allegiance between England and Ireland.
But it also attracted the attention of West Ham’s Premier League rivals with Chelsea and Manchester City also linked in the recent past.
The Daily Express claims Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer met with Red Devils chief Ed Woodward to discuss Rice.
The Express states that ‘Woodward may allow the United manager to sign a midfielder when the window reopens in January’.
Report will ease West Ham fears after high-level meeting
Crucially for the Hammers, though, it goes on to claim that a move for Rice in the next window is ‘unlikely’ despite their genuine interest in the West Ham midfielder.
That will come as a huge relief to Pellegrini and West Ham’s fans.
Rice is adored by the Hammers faithful and is seen as a future West Ham captain.
But he also reiterated his commitment to West Ham in the same interview.
Rice relief… for now
West Ham fans will want Rice to remain at the London Stadium long-term.
They are also realistic, though, and the mentality will be to enjoy Rice while he is still at the club safe in the knowledge that if he does leave the Hammers will be getting the truly big bucks.
Pellegrini has very few options as back-up for Rice as it is.
His departure would leave a gaping hole in the spine of an impressive looking Hammers side.
And filling that void would be almost impossible in January.
So this report will put minds at rest in East London. For now at least.