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Former West Ham United defender Scott Minto has claimed Real Madrid are interested in signing Declan Rice.

The television pundit says the 13-time Champions League winners have had representatives “speaking to his family”.

Rice has been in impressive form for West Ham this season, which led to an England call-up last month for the Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro, and has been an ever-present for the Hammers since the 3-1 win over Everton in September.

Minto spoke highly of the 20-year-old after the 2-1 defeat to Manchester United on Saturday and made a claim that Madrid may be ready to swoop.

“It was a big decision to leave the Republic of Ireland and move to England, but he was clearly told that he has a massive future,” said the former Hammer as reported in the Daily Star

“I’m hearing that even Real Madrid are knocking on the door and speaking to his family.

“That’s what I’m hearing.”

When pushed on where he had heard the rumour, ex-West Ham man Minto simply replied: “I’m not going to say but it’s a reliable source”.

Rice is a product of the Hammers academy after joining at the age of 14 following his release from Chelsea and made his senior debut as a substitute against Burnley on the final day of the 2016/17 season.

The West Ham youngster made 31 appearances last term in all competitions but was in and out of the side under Slaven Bilic although was given a run in the team by his predecessor David Moyes as the Hammers survived relegation after a tough campaign.

West Ham are doing better this time around under the stewardship of Manuel Pellegrini and Rice has thrived in the defensive midfield role under the Chilean.

The loss to Manchester United leaves the Hammers in 11th in the Premier League on 42 points with four matches still left to play.

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