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Rice warned off 'pointless' Man Utd transfer by ex-West Ham man Ferdinand

6:57 pm AEST 30/4/22
Declan Rice, West Ham 2021-22
The England international has been told to ignore the Red Devils' advances because they are going through "a massive transitional period"

Declan Rice has been warned off a "pointless" potential transfer to Manchester United by ex-West Ham defender Anton Ferdinand, who says he should only leave if a club that is "challenging for the title" comes calling.

Rice has earned a reputation as one of the top midfielders in English football over the past few years, helping West Ham emerge as top-four contenders in the process.

The 23-year-old's stellar performances have not gone unnoticed, with United and Chelsea both reportedly eager to bring him onto their books this summer, but Ferdinand doesn't think Old Trafford would be the best place for him to continue his development.

What has Ferdinand said about Rice?

West Ham are only two points behind sixth-placed United in the Premier League at the moment, and still have a game in hand, while they are also competing in the Europa League semi-finals.

Ferdinand doesn't think the Red Devils would be much of a step up for Rice at the moment, with Erik ten Hag set to begin a rebuilding job at Old Trafford when he arrives from Ajax in the summer.

"Man Utd isn't the place to go right now. They're going through a massive transitional period," the former Hammers centre-half has told The Sun.

"For me personally, if I'm Rice, Man Utd is not a place that I'd be going. I'd wait a few years and see what Ten Hag does. Whether he can implement what he did at Ajax at Man Utd and get them looking more like a team that can challenge.

"Otherwise, what's the point in leaving West Ham to go somewhere you're not even challenging for a title. You're challenging to get into Europe. That's what West Ham are doing - challenging to get into the Champions League.

"We've got something to build on. He'd be in the same place at Man Utd and all it would come down to is the stature of the football club.

"As a footballer myself, I'm not going somewhere just because it's a bigger club. You've got everything at a club where you're loved and you're the main man. 

"At Man Utd, you'll be one of many. Whereas, you can stay at West Ham and challenge for Europe and be the main man."

Ferdinand added: "Me personally, I'd rather stay [than join United]. But if it was one of the teams that were fighting for the league, and they came up with the money, it would be hard for West Ham to keep him.

"Like I said, if he did go, as fans we'd appreciate what he has done for the club. He'd always be loved and classed as a legend.

"And if we got £100m-plus for him and it went back into the playing squad, then we can't grumble."

Moyes' stance on Rice's future

Speculation over Rice's future at West Ham is raging amid reports that he has rejected two lucrative contract extension offers, with his current deal due to expire in 2024.

Moyes does not believe the midfielder will seek to move on at the end of the season, though, as he told reporters earlier this week: “I’ve said it [where I stand] and I think we have said what we think.

“We like Dec and he’s got three-and-a-half years to go on his contract so I don’t think there is any big panic.

“Maybe he just wants more money. People do turn down contracts. It is not unusual for players at clubs to turn down contracts, maybe it's a negotiation tactic.”

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