Man City: Declan Rice could make De Bruyne even better
The Declan Rice transfer saga will be one of the most intriguing of the summer, and according to Fabrizio Romano, the race for the England midfielder may hot up even more.
Manchester City are not out of the race to sign the West Ham United captain, as per the Italian transfer guru, but Arsenal still remain in pole position to sign him this summer.
Manchester City transfer news – Declan Rice
Romano said that the Gunners “must be quick” if they want to secure the 24-year-old’s services, with the treble winners waiting in the wings.
He also stated that Pep Guardiola’s side enquired about Rice at the end of last week, seeking more information on what a deal would entail for the Englishman.
Sky Sports have reported Arsenal have made a second bid for Rice which totals £90m. Of this fee, £75m would be upfront with £15m in add-ons. However, this is likely to be rejected as the Hammers aim to hold out for a fee over £100m.
As the Premier League runners-up bid for Rice, it’s evident that City and Manchester United will continue to monitor the situation.
Declan Rice could make Kevin De Bryune even better
Man City getting their hands on Rice would strike even more fear into their Premier League rivals, especially after the blue side of Manchester won their first-ever Champions League trophy and completed a historic treble this past season.
This City squad is blessed with riches. Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bryune and Ruben Dias are considered by many to be the best in the world in their positions, and to add Declan Rice to this City midfield could improve this Guardiola team even further.
No player would arguably benefit from playing with Rice more than De Bruyne.
Rice has made his admiration for well known, branding the Belgian international as one of the best players he’s ever faced, and compared him to another Man City midfield legend.
The Hammers star said:
“De Bruyne was just special, the way he thinks about the game, the position he picks up for a holding midfielder is horrible he just makes you think. Same with David Silva when he was in the Premier League, he was the exact same, [you] couldn’t get near, technically one and two touch he was just one step ahead of everyone.”
Rice’s seemingly limitless work rate and energy, as evident by his 1.73 interceptions per 90 over the last year – a feat that ranks him among the top 5% of all central midfielders across Europe’s elite five divisions, could help take the defensive burden off De Bruyne in this current City side.
Playing alongside Ilkay Gundogan, De Bruyne would still have a defensive role to play despite creativity being his main role in the team.
But playing alongside Rice instead of Gundogan, who looks set to depart the Etihad this summer, would provide a higher quality of defensive abilities playing alongside the Belgian superstar. Indeed, Rice’s 2.1 tackles and 1.7 interceptions per game in 2022/23 would see him rank first in both regards in Manchester, by quite some margin, too.
De Bruyne starred once again this season for City, notching seven goals and 18 assists in 32 Premier League games this season.
However, the 31-year-old struggled with injury at the tail end of the season and admitted after coming off injured in the Champions League final that he had been playing through a hamstring tear in the latter stages of the campaign.
Bringing the defensive excellence and energy of Rice – who Irons legend Mark Noble lauded as a “monster on the pitch” – to play in midfield alongside De Bruyne could help take a bit of physical pressure off Guardiola’s key playmaker and that would help this City team become even more dangerous heading into the new season.