West Ham and England midfielder Declan Rice is wanted by Real Madrid, according to former Hammers midfielder Scott Minto.
Rice shone during his side’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United on Saturday and has been the subject of recent transfer speculation after an impressive season under Manuel Pellegrini.
Manchester United have been heavily linked with Rice themselves, but Minto claims that Real Madrid are in talks with the player’s family about a summer move to Spain.
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Speaking to Stadium Astro following Saturday’s match at Old Trafford, Minto said: “I’m hearing that even Real Madrid are knocking on the door and speaking to his family. That’s what I’m hearing.”
When pressed on his where he had heard this information, Minto added: “I’m not going to say. But it’s a reliable source.”
Much has been made of Rice’s fine form for West Ham this season. The 20-year-old was substituted at half-time in the Hammers’ first game of the campaign, a 4-0 defeat away to Liverpool in August, and has recently admitted that he considered asking for a loan move after the match.
Since then he has gone from strength to strength and earned his first England call-up in March, having changed allegiances from the Republic of Ireland.
“West Ham I’m sure know about the potential he has,” Minto added. “Man United will be knocking on the door.
“The big boys of the Premier League and world football will be saying this is a young lad at a club that could sell for the right price.
“He could become one of the stars in that particular position.”
Real Madrid have already begun their summer overhaul under Zinedine Zidane, after agreeing a €50 million (£43m/$57m) deal to sign Porto defender Eder Militao, and it remains to be seen whether Rice will also be a target.
Manchester United are also expected to be busy in the transfer market, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recently claiming that it will be ‘survival of the fittest’ for his squad this summer.