MANCHESTER UNITED sent scouts to watch contract rebel Declan Rice in West Ham’s heavy defeat to Man City, according to reports.
The highly-rated defender is holding off putting pen-to-paper on a new contract with his current deal expiring in 2020.
Rice, 19, is well aware that some of the Premier League’s top clubs are closely watching his progress.
And Man United, who are in the market for a new central defender, are just one of the clubs who are ready to make a move.
The Metro reports that United sent their top representatives to watch him in action in the 4-0 defeat to City.
It was believed that the Red Devils wanted to see how he would perform against the strength of the Premier League leaders.
Rice, who currently earns £3,000-a-week, has been offered the chance to sign a new deal at the Hammers and increase his pay packet to £20k.
Chelsea are prepared to double that fee and Tottenham have also made their interest to the player known.
Rice was voted Young Hammer of the year last season, for the second successive year, and is a big hit with fans.
Not only does Rice has a decision to make on his club future, he is also in the midst of an international tug-of-war between England and Republic of Ireland.
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Despite playing three times for Ireland, none of those have come in a competitive fixture meaning he is still eligible to play for the Three Lions.
Gareth Southgate has held talks with the player in a bid to convince him to play for England while new Ireland boss Mick McCarthy revealed his conversation with the player’s father.
McCarthy said: “I spoke to Declan’s [Rice] father, Sean, and had a really good conversation with him. I just want to clear some things up as well, some misconceptions.
“Declan wasn’t not here for the games because he had a falling out with Roy [Keane] or with Martin [O’Neill] – he has the utmost respect for both of those guys.
“But he was asked by Gareth Southgate to go see St George’s Park and to see whether he could be enticed to play with them.”