Rio Ferdinand admits that Declan Rice may not be an "absolute need right now" for Manchester United, but he can appreciate why the Red Devils would be keen on a midfielder that could spend the next 10 years at Old Trafford.
Talk of interest in the versatile England international plying his trade at West Ham is nothing new, with impressive progress for club and country seeing the talented 22-year-old register on a number of recruitment radars.
United are said to form part of that pack, as they mull over additions for another window, and Ferdinand would be in favour of a raid on the London Stadium if other boxes can be ticked along the way.
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What has been said?
Former United defender Ferdinand was asked during a Q&A session on Twitter who he would like to fill a number six role at Old Trafford and responded by saying: "Welcome @_DeclanRice."
He has gone on to tell his FIVE YouTube channel: "With a position like Declan’s, it’s more: do Man Utd feel he’s an absolute need right now? Are there other areas in the team where they have a bigger desire to recruit for?
"I think centre-back, 100 per cent, and I think right wing, 100%.
"West Ham fans are going mad on social media by the way, they’re hammering me like, ‘Why you saying Man Utd should by him?!’ I was asked a question and I answered the question honestly. If Man Utd act on my information and my say-so, then so be it.
"I think whoever buys Declan Rice buys someone who’s going to be there and committed for 10 years, giving you top-quality service, and someone who will be a driver of the right culture at your football club.
"That’s what you’re buying. And obviously a player who’s still got levels to grow in his game, and who’s hungry."
The bigger picture
Rice has spoken in the recent past of his desire to take another step up in his career by gracing a Champions League stage in the not too distant future.
West Ham are still hoping to deliver on that ambition, having added Europa League football to their schedule for 2021-22, and they have a prized asset tied to a contract through to 2024.
They are under no pressure to sell, but interest from afar is building and the Hammers may see their resolve tested as big-money bids from domestic rivals are mulled over.