“Declan has improved more than any player I’ve seen over the last one or two seasons. He’s 22 and I look to where I was, I think he’s way ahead of me when I was 22.
“I think the next step will come to him when he plays a higher level, and when I say higher level I mean for Man United, playing in Champions League, competing for trophies.”
Rice was a man in demand virtually all summer, although the £100million price-tag pinned to him by West Ham effectively stopped all interested parties in their tracks.
As it stands, his contract runs until 2024, so even next summer the east London side will be under no major pressure to offload him, unless the pressure comes from the player himself.