West Ham could now agree Declan Rice 'swap deal' after fresh source reveal - pundit
Noel Whelan has claimed the “only way” West Ham can sign Kalvin Phillips is by swapping him for Declan Rice this summer.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested a player-plus-cash deal involving the England international pair is a “possibility”.
Sources told this site on Sunday (1 January) that West Ham have reignited their interest in Phillips, 27, after they were linked with a £50million-plus bid last year.
It is understood that the England international is highly rated by manager David Moyes and seen as capable of replacing Rice – who is widely expected to leave during the summer window.
Rice is currently out of contract in June 2024 and it is understood that he has rejected multiple mega-money renewal offers from the Irons – amid interest from the likes of Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Man United.
Phillips has played just 57 minutes of club football since joining City in the summer window and was publicly chastised by manager Pep Guardiola after returning from the World Cup “overweight”.
When asked about the Irons’ interest in Phillips, Whelan told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “It might be difficult for him to agree to leave so early into his time at Man City.
“West Ham will want him to replace Rice.
“The only way I can see that happening is if Rice goes the opposite way. I think that is a possibility.
“I think both sides could come away with what they want if City were to come in with a player swap – plus some money.
“There’s a deal to be done there. West Ham have always had their eye on Phillips as their replacement for Rice – so watch this space.
“It’s not been the smoothest start for him at City, so this could be one to keep an eye on.”