According to The Athletic, West Ham United director of football Mario Husillos has drawn up a shortlist of players who may be equipped to replace Declan Rice should he leave the club.
While no talks have been held with any club, there is a growing realism that the England international is a major target for Manchester United, and the Hammers are starting to prepare for a potential departure.
The 20-year-old has established himself as a key player for both club and country over the last few months, and the bigwigs have been linked with interests in his services.
Manchester City were said to have been keen on Rice as they sought for a long-term replacement for Fernandinho, but they have since landed Spanish midfielder Rodri.
The West Ham academy graduate has played every minute of the Premier League campaign thus far this season, and will continue to attract clubs home and abroad should he keep improving at this rate.
He has made 81 appearances for West Ham since his debut in 2017 and remains a fans favorite.
According to Goal, the Red Devils have Rice on their radar for next summer but are more than ready to try their luck in January, and they could be willing to part with £80 million for his signature.
While the Hammers star would love to remain at the London Stadium for much longer, the temptation to play for one of the league’s giants and in Europe could too much for him to turn down.