Rice, 23, has emerged as one of the Premier League’s hottest properties since breaking into the Hammers’ first-team in 2017 and going on to become the side’s captain.
The England international has just two years left on his current contract at the London Stadium and has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea and Manchester United.
However, according to ESPN, it is the Red Devils who are most likely to sign Rice with Chelsea hampered by government sanctions and prioritising defensive additions to replace the departing Andreas Christiansen and Antonio Rudiger.
United are desperate to sign a central-midfielder this summer with their lack of quality in the position playing a part in the team’s struggles as they sit in sixth in the Premier League, eight points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who have a game in hand.
A sticking point in any potential deal for Rice will be the fee, with Hammers boss David Moyes suggesting it will take as much as £150 million to sign his star man.
Earlier this season Moyes said: ‘The first thing to say is that he is not for sale. But if you are interested, well, £100million was cheap last summer, and £150million just now would be minimum.’
With reports indicating that incoming manager Erik ten Hag could have a limited budget to spend on United’s squad this summer, splurging the entire budget on one player may prove difficult.
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether Rice will be happy to join a club out of the Champions League and may decide to stay in east London if West Ham can win the Europa League this season and qualify for Europe’s top competition.
Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips has been touted as an alternative option to Rice but it is thought the 26-year-old is reluctant to join United with them being a fierce rival of his hometown club.
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