Gabby Agbonlahor has questioned why Declan Rice would want to join Manchester United and insists Real Madrid would be more tempting for the sought-after midfielder.
Rice is set to start a bidding war this summer after another stellar season in the heart of the Hammers’ midfield.
The Daily Mail reports that a price tag of £150m has been slapped on the England international’s head, believed to be a UK transfer record.
United and Rice’s boyhood club Chelsea are believed to be interested but the Red Devils could make a bid for the 23-year-old unopposed after penalties were imposed on Blues owner Roman Abramovich.
With Old Trafford currently the only possible Premier League destination for Rice, Agbonlahor suggested the West Ham star should look abroad.
The Aston Villa legend told talkSPORT Breakfast: “I look at Man City, they have Rodri. I know Fernandinho could leave but Rodri plays a lot of their games and suits the way they play. So maybe that is not an option.
“I’m looking at Chelsea, they can’t buy new players at the moment. Liverpool have Fabinho and [Jordan] Henderson.
“Man United is probably the only club he would probably want to go to. But he wants to win trophies and play in the Champions League.
“He might even look elsewhere in Europe.
“If I’m Rice, I don’t rule out somewhere in Europe, I don’t rule out Real Madrid.
“If you look at Toni Kroos, he gets along a little, Luka Modric always does but he gets along a little.
“He’d rather go to Real Madrid than Man United. The players don’t look happy there [at Old Trafford] and Rice is a happy player, he seems to enjoy his football at West Ham.
“Does he want to go somewhere with such negative vibes?”
Rice has become England’s first-choice midfielder and is expected to play a starring role at the Qatar World Cup this winter.
And Agbonlahor suggests Rice’s desire to reach the next level in his career may increase when he hears his Three Lions team-mates talking about Champions League football during the international break.
He added: “Imagine now, he leaves with England and all the players are talking about the Champions League in a few weeks.
“As a player, knowing how good he is, he is world class in his position, he will want to play the Champions League next season, not wait for Man United to pull themselves together.”
With the Red Devils currently struggling to break into the top four and a fifth season without confirmed silverware, Rangers legend Ally McCoist also wonders why Rice would join United.
West Ham are just two points behind Ralf Rangnick’s side and could still secure Champions League qualification by winning the Europa League, after beating Sevilla to reach the quarter-finals.
McCoist added: “I don’t really see what there is to Rice going to Manchester United at the moment.”
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