Rio Ferdinand thinks Newcastle United should make a move for Declan Rice.
Having become the richest club in world football last week, Newcastle are now being linked with almost every single superstar footballer on the planet, with many believing they’re going to leave no stone unturned in their attempts to become a dominant force in world football.
That will, though, take time. Manchester City didn’t become world beaters overnight following their takeover, so it would be unrealistic to expect Newcastle to do the same.
But with rumours flying around, Rio Ferdinand has entered the discussion by naming the three players he thinks Newcastle should try to sign in January.
Speaking on his YouTube show Vibe with Five, the Hammers academy graduate said: “I’d be going to try and make like a mad couple of signings, like huge, that I think would be gettable.
“I’d be looking at people like Raheem Sterling. Raheem Sterling’s not playing regularly, I’d go ask him the question. I’d go and ask Declan Rice, ‘What’s going on?’
“Them two would be the first two on my list, and I’d go all out to go and get them. And then I’d be trying to get people like Jesse Lingard, who’s in and around the Man United squad.”
You can see where he’s coming from, but it’s still incredibly unrealistic to suggest players like Sterling and Rice would be interested in signing for Newcastle at this time. The Magpies are currently second-bottom of the Premier League and haven’t won a game all season, while Man City and West Ham are both in European competition and competing in the top half of the table.
Why would either sacrifice their participation in the likes of the Champions League and Europa League, as well as end their chances of winning silverware this season, just to sign for a club who at this moment in time can only offer them good wages? While many will believe players are more interested in money these days, it’s simply too soon to suggest any player would be willing to sign for the Magpies purely for the money.
It’s a World Cup year next year and both players will be keen to continue playing at the highest level to ensure they’re ready to compete for the Three Lions in Qatar. Newcastle will no doubt reach the highest level eventually but it’s going to take more than just one season for them to get there.
Signing Jesse Lingard is perhaps the most realistic suggestion, given his current super-sub role at Man United and the fact he needs to be playing more in order to force his way into Gareth Southgate’s plans ahead of next winter’s World Cup.
But this isn’t the first time Rio Ferdinand has called for a club to make a move for Rice. The former West Ham defender was very vocal in his wishes for Man United to sign him last summer, and then had the audacity to put his name alongside the recent Pai Capital takeover attempts.
Pai Capital labeled Rio as a club legend, despite his clear and very public love for Man United, which is the club he is a true legend at.
No West Ham ‘legend’ would publically call for said club’s best player to sign for other clubs. He should instead be publically explaining why he believes West Ham is the best place for Rice to continue his development.
Put simply, it’s difficult to imagine a world in which Rice would agree to join Newcastle United. Perhaps in five years time, if the Magpies successfully buy their way up the Premier League table, he might consider it, but at the moment it would be a huge step down in his career and would no doubt severely damage his chances of playing for England in the short term.