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Declan Rice: Bayern Munich manager Thomas Tuchel speaks to West Ham captain with German champions to step up pursuit

Bayern Munich manager Thomas Tuchel has spoken to Declan Rice; the West Ham captain is also wanted by both Arsenal and Manchester United; the German champions are expected to step up their interest in Rice

Declan Rice
Image: Bayern Munich have made Declan Rice a top target

Declan Rice has spoken with Bayern Munich head coach Thomas Tuchel as the Bundesliga champions step up their pursuit of the West Ham and England midfielder, according to Sky in Germany.

Sky in Germany's transfer reporter Florian Plettenberg says Rice remains at the top of their wanted list as they look to add a central midfielder to their squad.

They are now looking to step up their pursuit of the 24-year-old over fears that they could lose out to Premier League rivals including Arsenal.

Their plans have not changed despite changes to their backroom staff over the weekend, with the departure of chief executive Oliver Kahn and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.

Rice has maintained that he is not focused on any "noise and speculation" and that his mind is solely on next week's Europa Conference League final.

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West Ham's Declan Rice says the team are determined to win their Europa Conference League final againt Fiorentina and get their hands on the trophy.

West Ham take on Fiorentina in next week's final in Prague, with the Hammers needing a win to secure a Europa League spot next season.

"I've not really focused on any of that, to be honest," said Rice when asked about a summer move.

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"My main focus this season, from the World Cup onwards, has been getting us out of a relegation battle and, of course, having one eye on winning this trophy.

"Everything else is just noise and speculation. Obviously, I can't help that, it comes with playing. But my main focus is playing for West Ham and winning this final. My heart's set on that, doing it for the club, for my family, for the fans and that's my only focus. I want to make them all very happy and my focus is on doing that."

'Bayern can afford Rice'

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Sky Germany's Uli Kohler reports that Bayern Munich are interested in signing West Ham midfielder Declan Rice in the summer

Sky Germany reporter Uli Kohler told Sky Sports News: "Tuchel had a phone call with Rice. I don't know what they were talking about - maybe money, maybe about what he can expect here [in Munich].

"Bayern is keen on him. They need a strong defensive midfielder but everybody knows there are a lot of other clubs interested in him.

"Bayern could afford it. They would like to keep it below €100m [£86.4m].

"They have to look at their accounts very closely but I think they can afford it."

Arsenal expected to bid for Rice

Declan Rice, Mason Mount, Ilkay Gundogan
Image: Arsenal have Declan Rice, Mason Mount, Ilkay Gundogan on their shortlist

Sky Sports News revealed earlier this month that Arsenal are expected to bid for West Ham captain Rice at the end of the season.

Internal discussions at the Emirates Stadium are continuing over the possibility of signing the England midfielder, who was of interest to the Gunners back in January.

West Ham manager David Moyes has indicated there is a chance Rice could leave - provided the price is right. Sky Sports News reported Rice has a "gentleman's agreement" that he can move in the summer - provided West Ham receive an offer worth £120m, be that in a transfer fee or a transfer fee plus players.

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West Ham boss David Moyes praises the season Declan Rice has had and says he ranks amongst some of the best players he's coached in his career

Rice has one year left on his contract at West Ham - with the option of a further year.

Arsenal are also keeping an eye on Moises Caicedo's situation at Brighton. Arsenal had two bids rejected in January - the latest was worth £70m.

Arsenal are also keeping an eye on a number of other midfielders, with Granit Xhaka expected to leave in the summer.

Chelsea's Mason Mount and Manchester City captain Ilkay Gundogan have emerged as potential targets.

Man Utd want Rice alongside Kane and Mount

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Roy Keane hopes Manchester United can close the gap next season with challenging for the title against neighbours Manchester City but believes the Red Devils would have to get their recruitment right to have any chance of doing so

Rice, Harry Kane and Mason Mount are on Manchester United's transfer shortlist this summer but it is unlikely they will sign all three.

The three players are thought to be the type of characters that Erik ten Hag wants to add to his dressing room.

United's transfer strategy will depend on what happens with the takeover and who owns the club. United will be looking to sell as well as signing players over the summer.

Where should Rice play? Your comments!

Whippet man: "Go to Bayern, Dec, if you feel the need to leave home. It wouldn't feel right playing against the team you love."

Johannus Schwauffmann: "As a Bayern fan, I'd love to have him here. He's a great footballer who consistently brings value to his team. However, if I had to speak objectively, surely he's going to Arsenal. Bayern is really unstable currently and Mikel Arteta's project is very exciting."

joe west ggmu: "Would Harry Kane and Rice turn Manchester United into a title-winning team again?"

Gazza1: "Rice has to go Man Utd. Another club on the up with exciting times ahead, plus he wouldn't be risking the wrath of the West Ham fans for joining another London club. Obvious choice really."

Patrick: "I would like to see him playing for Liverpool. he is a good fit as he plays similar to Jordan Henderson and he is still young. Liverpool should sign him."

Craig, Chelsea fan: "Declan Rice would be perfect partner for Enzo Fernandez at Chelsea."

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