Declan Rice has reportedly emerged as Manchester City's top priority after his outstanding midfield displays for West Ham United and England in the last 12 months.
The Athletic reports that the Premier League champions are likely to make an approach for the 22-year-old in the summer as they see him as Fernandinho's long-term successor.
City have been linked with Rice on a number of occasions in the last year, along with Chelsea and Manchester United, with this season looking like Rice's last at the London Stadium.
Pep Guardiola's side were expected to move for Rice in the summer before opting to extend Fernandinho's contract by a further year instead.
West Ham are understood to have no intention of selling Rice and, with three years remaining on his contract and the option of a fourth, they feel that they are in a strong position to retain his services.
Rice's desire to play Champions League football may prove a problem for the Hammers, though, after they missed out on fourth place last season.
Having been a key member of the England side that reached the final of the Euros in the summer, Rice has already tasted playing on the biggest stage and will be keen to return.
Had West Ham have been in the Champions League instead of the Europa League this season then Rice may have already signed a contract extension.
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The club are, however, one of the favourites to win the competition, which brings with it a place in next season's Champions League group stage draw.
A high fee will likely be required if Rice were to leave West Ham in the summer due to the time remaining on his contract and his status as an England international.
At least £70million would likely have to be offered for the Hammers to consider allowing Rice to discuss terms with potential suitors.
Since making his debut aged 18 four years ago, Rice has made 155 appearances for the club and has two goals in two matches in Europe already this season.
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