The English ace has just enjoyed another strong campaign for the Hammers and has played a major role in the heart of a side that briefly threatened to lift the convention by finishing among the Champions League places.
Rice helped drive East Londoners to a Premier League club record of 65 points and established himself as a regular team captain along the way.
In the end, the Hammers slipped to an still impressive sixth place with Rise’s strong screens as a midfield anchor, garnering wide praise and ensuring continued transfer speculation about his future.
Chelsea have long been heavily linked with a move for their former Academy talent, with former coach Frank Lampard known for being an avid admirer of Rice’s defensive noise.
Although Lampard has since been replaced by Thomas Tuchel, interest in Rice is said to remain, making the race for his signature likely one of the slow-boiling stories of the summer.
Athletic also say United and Chelsea should expect competition for his signature from Manchester City.
It has long been known that domestic signatures are subject to the arbitrary ‘English tax’, and the reported fee will do little to dispel this myth, as Moyes is believed to value Rice for an eye-melting excessive £ 95m.
The question posed in the report is the most relevant here, specifically how much a priority should be for the Reds boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer?
Rice is clearly already a very good player and has 22 as a potential to get even better. And yes, with Nemanja Matic on his last leg, he would represent an investment in the kind of premium defensive shield that has been missing from the team for a long time.
He also brings the added bonus of versatility, having proved to be a more than capable center-back before being re-admitted as a warring midfielder.
However, it just does not seem plausible that United’s creaking war chest has the depth to pursue all the targets that bandies are around right now.
It is a given that United are after Jadon Sancho and almost certainly a center back unless they can send a dead man’s army (wood), it does not seem likely that United’s interest will develop from window buyers to cash spreaders.