England: Declan Rice and Ben Chilwell show skills in training
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West Ham and England star Declan Rice should look to join Manchester United over Chelsea, according to Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend. Rice is a target of both United and Chelsea and has reportedly turned down a new contract offer at the London Stadium.
Rice still has three years remaining on his deal with the Hammers but the east London club are keen to pen him down and reward him for his performances in recent seasons.
The 22-year-old spent much of last term as skipper due to club captain Mark Noble’s lack of game time.
Both United and Chelsea are long-term admirers of Rice, with the Blues in particular keen on a deal last summer.
Townsend believes United are more in need of a player like Rice than Chelsea and says a move to Old Trafford would suit him down to the ground.
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“Chelsea’s different because I think at Chelsea they like their holding midfielders to be ball-playing,” Townsend said on talkSPORT.
“I think Kante’s kind of broken into that team under [Thomas] Tuchel towards the end of the season, so it’s Kante and a ball-player in a [Mateo] Kovacic or a Jorginho.
“So I don’t see where, unless one of those players leaves, I don’t see where he’d fit in there.
“Manchester United’s a different kettle of fish. We go back to [Paul] Pogba, looking at Pogba in the Euros with [N’Golo] Kante doing his running for him and Pogba having the licence to get on the ball and spray passes left, right and centre.
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“He would need another player like that next to him, so that’s a different kettle of fish altogether.”
Townsend reckon Rice will attempt to leave West Ham in this window.
However, he also thinks he would be content to stay for another season if it came to it.
“If you believe what was being reported he was trying to go last season,” Townsend added.
“He was trying to go to Chelsea last year, it didn’t work out for one reason or another and he stayed because he loves West Ham.
“He stayed for the season, did really well. I’m sure he’ll probably look to go away this summer but because he loves West Ham, if it doesn’t materialise, then ‘alright, I’ll get back to my day job, I’ll work as hard as I can for West Ham, I’ll have another good season and try to leave the summer after’.”
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