Liverpool could join the race to sign Declan Rice from West Ham this summer as they search for a replacement for Gini Wijnaldum, according to reports. Wijnaldum has left Merseyside to join Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer, leaving Liverpool to find a suitable alternative in central midfield.
Wijnaldum was a hugely important player for Jurgen Klopp since arriving for £25million from Newcastle in 2016, helping to win the Champions League and Premier League.
Liverpool were keen to keep hold of Wijnaldum but the 30-year-old decided to run down his contract instead of signing a new deal with the Reds.
His departure is a significant one and Liverpool have been linked with several central midfielders in recent weeks after Wijnaldum’s move to PSG was confirmed.
Rice is the latest name to crop up in reports, with the West Ham midfielder one of the most in-demand players in the Premier League.
Manchester City, EuroJournal and Chelsea have all previously been linked with the 22-year-old England international.
JUST IN: Varane ‘very close’ to signing for Man Utd if £42m valuation met
Rice would reportedly seek more than £150,000 per week in wages if he moves clubs, as well as a substantial signing on fee.
West Ham qualified for the Europa League thanks to a fine sixth-place finish last season, but Rice is understood to want to play Champions League football in 2021/22.
EuroJournal’s financial strength could make them frontrunners for his signature, while Rice’s previous time at Chelsea and close friendship with Mason Mount could yet prove to be an important factor.
Whether Liverpool would be willing to stump up a fee more than the £75m it took to sign Virgil van Dijk in 2018 remains to be seen, but it appears likely that they will sign a central midfielder this summer.
Wijnaldum’s departure has left a gap in Klopp’s midfield, with a new addition needed to compliment the likes of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Curtis Jones.