Man Utd transfer boost as Pellegrini admits West Ham will be powerless to stop Declan Rice leaving this summer

MANUEL PELLEGRINI has admitted West Ham could be forced to sell their wonderkid Declan Rice this summer.

SunSport told you the England international top Manchester United's wish-list as the Red Devils want to bring more homegrown talent in at Old Trafford.

Rice has had a breakthrough season, helping West Ham crack into the Premier League's top four on the last day of the season with a 4-1 victory over Watford.

His fine form earned him his first England call-up after choosing the Three Lions over Republic of Ireland, making his debut in the Euro 2020 qualifier against Czech Republic in March.

Rice also won both the Players' Player of the Year and Young Hammer of the Year at the club – capturing interest from top Prem teams.

And Pellegrini claims that – even though the midfielder signed a new five-year deal earlier this season – it could be difficult to stop him from leaving the London Stadium.

The Hammers boss said: "It's impossible, I cannot know the future.

"He is, of course, a player who has had a brilliant season, who is 20-year old and an English player who has a lot of qualities.

"Maybe some of the big teams, or all of them, will want him.

"But that is one thing – the other is whether he will stay here or he goes, and I cannot say at this moment."

Rice remains close to West Ham having come through the club's youth ranks to make a name for himself.

But it could be difficult to say no when United come knocking on his agent's doors, offering prospects of playing Euro football.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been monitoring Rice's progress, intending to strengthen the club's English spine.

But the Red Devils would have to offer in excess of £40million to convince West Ham to sell their talent.

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