Liverpool will need to sign midfielders come the summer of 2023. Many will say the club needed to do that in the summer of 2022, too—and that their failure to do so is a key part of why they have struggled to start the season.
Certainly, though, there will need to be significant signings next summer, and everybody knows that. Which means plenty of opportunity for the rumour mongers to link players with the Reds. Players like West Ham’s Declan Rice.
According to Football Insider, at least, the 23-year-old England international Rice is one of Liverpool’s top midfield targets—and he was last summer, too, only for the Reds to be put off by a price tag in excess of £100M.
Rice, though, will have 18 months left on his contract in January and a year to run come summer, weakening West Ham’s position for a player who if he wasn’t English likely wouldn’t have anyone talking about nine-figure fees.
Still, while what West Ham can demand for Rice will certainly come down as his contract gets closer to its end, it’s a reminder of just how inflated fees can be in England for talent that can be registered as domestically trained.
It doesn’t mean the Reds might not be interested, but unless they see defensive midfielder Rice as a potential starter for the next five-plus years, it’s difficult not to think that they would look for better value elsewhere.
Rice is also said to be of interest to Chelsea, Manchester United, and Man City, which could raise West Ham’s hopes of a massive fee despite his contract status—or could be a case of West Ham trying to encourage a bidding war.