Reports from the Evening Standard claim that United are willing to make a bid when the transfer window opens and get the ball rolling on a move.
Hammers boss David Moyes has firmly shut down any talk of a summer exit for Rice, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to up the ante after the poor Europa League final defeat on Wednesday.
England international Rice is expected to play a key role in Gareth Southgate’s plans for this summer’s European Championships, showing just how important of a player he can be any side he plays in.
But the 22-year-old could also help to raise the levels of three other players at Old Trafford.
It’s no secret that a consistent, reliable defensive-midfielder makes centre-halves lives a whole lot easier.
Maguire and Rice are well acquainted through their time with England, and the Hammers ace would no doubt enjoy playing with the United skipper behind him barking orders.
United’s defence has looked incredibly leaky at times this season, especially at home, but Maguire and a potentially new world-class centre-back – being marshalled by Rice – would be a pretty impervious partnership.
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Scotland midfielder Scott McTominay showed what all the fuss is about with a standout performance in the Europa League final.
The 24-year-old regularly attracts praise for his passionate displays, but having someone of the same mould like Rice could possibly drive him on to the next level.
As shown by the whole Luke Shaw – Alex Telles saga this term, having direct competition for places can often help to elevate performance, and alongside each other, they would be a very solid midfield pivot.
Concerns about Pogba in midfield led to him being played out on the left-wing last season.
He was restored to the holding role for the Europa League final, and while the Frenchman didn’t have his best performance, he was certainly not a liability alongside McTominay against the rather defensive Villarreal.
Were Rice to come in and play that deep-lying role, Pogba would be able to spray passes and go on the occasional marauding run without the fear of leaving a gaping whole behind him.