Declan Rice’s Manchester City transfer: Is it a good idea?

Time has run out on Declan Rice's stay at London Stadium. The England international led West Ham to the Europa Conference League triumph and has been linked with a move away in the summer transfer window.

The last couple of market openings have linked Rice with a return to Chelsea. A reunion with fellow Cobham graduates made a great story.

With the Blues in a personnel turmoil of their own, Arsenal stole a march on them. The Gunners want to reinforce their ranks ahead of their Champions League campaign and eye him as a perfect addition. Add to the fact that Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey are leaving the Emirates Stadium, Rice can slot in Mikel Arteta's plans.

In the midst of it all, Manchester City have joined the race for his signature. Pep Guardiola wants to bring him to Etihad Stadium and reinforce the treble winners' squad. Interestingly, Erik ten Hag and Manchester United are keeping tabs on the situation and can join a bidding war for his signature.

Rice's Manchester City Conundrum

It leaves Rice in a favourable dilemma, one in which he is being courted by three of the top four teams in England. As he looks to sever his ties with West Ham, he leaves as a Hammers legend. He will be welcomed with open arms, whenever he returns in opposing colours.

Signing for Manchester City is the obvious choice. He will be playing for the best team in Europe and come under the tutelage of one of the best football brains of all time. With Ilkay Gundogan leaving and Burno Fernandes yet to decide on his future, Rice's path to first-team football will be easy. He has age on his side and will be part of City's future.

Moreover, after getting a taste of glory in the Conference League triumph, Etihad Stadium is the perfect destination to quench his thirst at the highest level. He will be swapping the third tier of European football with the highest level. At City, he will be battling against the best European football has to offer. With City vying for global silverware in the FIFA Club World Cup, he will be competing the best there are.

Guardiola will welcome his assured presence in the midfield. He can be the heir to Fernandinho and make their defence all the more impenetrable. The Catalan manager and get more out of him, as he has done with John Stones and Phil Foden. The Citizens can also use his leadership and responsibility skills, Rice is not only a talented player but has also a dressing room leader.

A disaster in waiting

Given City's ruthlessness, this also makes it a disaster in waiting as Kalvin Philipps will attest to. The England international arrived from Leeds and only made 12 Premier League appearances, most of them from the bench. Slotting into City's first team roster is not an easy task and Rice will not be a guaranteed starter.

Moreover, Rice will have to get used to life away from the limelight. At the Etihad, the England international will be surrounded by the best players imaginable. He will not be the superstar he is at London Stadium but one of the many.

There is also the question of where he will stand in the City's folklore. At West Ham, he is a bonafide legend, along the likes of Mark Noble despite not playing the same amount of time. City are already an established side and wants him to continue their success.

This will not be the case at Arsenal or Manchester United. He will be a central figure as they challenge the might of City in the Premier League. Realizing this feat will cement his legacy at these clubs, while also his legend in English football.

In Arsenal, Rice can join an exciting project with plenty of up sights. Moreover, he will stay in the preferred surroundings of London. A win-win situation but a path fraught with hardships as Liverpool players learnt the hard way, stopping the City machinery is a difficult task. Better to join them than stand in their way.