Declan Rice is being tracked by Man City manager Pep Guardiola

Man City are lining up Declan Rice as the long-term replacement for Fernandinho.

City supervisor Pep Guardiola knows he needs to locate a youthful successor for his splendid Brazilian midfielder, who turns 34 preceding the finish of the season.

And West Ham’s highly-rated teenager Rice is the player who has caught his eye – in spite of just marking another long haul contract with the club a month ago.

Rice has risen as one of the nation’s most encouraging youthful players this season after becoming the main man in the Hammers midfield.

His importance to Guardiola’s side has been magnified this season with City losing two of the three matches he missed through damage in December.

Despite a squad rich in quality and depth, the defending champions have no conspicuous player to venture in and assume Fernandinho’s role when he is absent.

SunSport understands Guardiola will make a detailed assessment of Rice all through the rest of the season.

City want to see if Rice has the stamina and ability to continue playing at such an abnormal state all through an entire season.


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