Ex-West Ham star Frank McAvennie says his former club can’t afford to simply rely on Lucas Paqueta playing in a deeper position if Declan Rice is sold this summer.
The club captain has been widely tipped to leave the London Stadium and, while McAvennie admits it’s inevitable that Rice will move on, he can see the Hammers pursuing his international teammate Kalvin Phillips to fill the void:
“Of course he [Rice] will [leave but they’ve got to have somebody beside Paqueta [to replace him, like a [Kalvin] Phillips.”
Phillips only moved to Manchester City from Leeds last year, but he has struggled to hold down a first-team place at the Etihad Stadium.
A departure at the end of the season cannot be ruled out, with West Ham and Liverpool having been both credited with an interest in the England international recently.
Whether City will hold out for a similar fee that they paid for Phillips, it remains to be seen. The Premier League champions are said to have shelled out an initial £42m on the midfielder, with £3m in add-ons.