Rice, 23, is under contract at the Hammers until 2024 but reports suggests the Englishman has turned down the club’s offer of a new deal and could be available at the end of the season for £100million.
Incoming United manager Erik ten Hag is believed to be keen on signing Rice as part of a summer rebuild following a dire campaign which has left the Red Devils five points off fourth placed Arsenal who have two games in hand in the Premier League.
On Thursday night, West Ham face Frankfurt in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final which they trail 2-1. Mills, the former Manchester City defender, thinks Rice could remain with the Hammers next season if the east Londoners win the competition and qualify for the Champions League.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: ‘It might be about the Champions League, if West Ham get in the Champions League he might want to stay another season.
‘If his only other option is Man United and they are not in the Champions League, why wouldn’t you wait?
‘Captain West Ham, get a deal that means you have a big bonus to stay and an agreement to sell at the end of that.
‘I think a lot of that will depend on Champions League football and who is in it.’
This week, it was reported by ESPN that United are now the clear favourites to sign Rice with Chelsea’s transfer dealings hindered by government sanctions on their Russian owner Roman Abramovich.
However, with Hammers manager David Moyes quoting as much as £150million for his star man, a seamless transaction between the two parties seems wishful thinking.
If a deal does not materialise for Rice, United’s alternative option is Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips, but the 26-year-old is not keen on a move to Old Trafford with the rivalry between the two clubs said to be on his mind.
Meanwhile, Amadou Haidara at RB Leipzig is reportedly on the Red Devils’ shortlist but the Manchester giants would prefer to sign a midfielder with Premier League experience.
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