Pep Guardiola reportedly had doubts about Declan Rice before Manchester City tried to sign him this summer.
Back in June, after seeing a £90m bid turned down, the Citizens left the race to sign the midfielder after refusing to meet West Ham United’s asking fee of over £100m.
The 24-year-old then joined Arsenal after the north London club paid £105m for his services and went on to play 81 minutes against City in the Community Shield.
With the new Premier League season just a day away from kicking off, some interesting details have emerged regarding what the City manager had thought of the player prior to this particular transfer saga.
Guardiola had doubts over Rice
A recent report from The Independent had this to say on the matter.
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He said: “The City manager initially had some reservations over how quick Rice is with the ball at his feet, although that is understood to have passed as he has matured as a player.
“Guardiola was convinced by the time the champions made a play this summer.”
Even though these doubts had apparently gone by the time City made their attempt to sign Rice, the fact that they were there initially could be why the club didn’t push any further in terms of paying the money West Ham wanted for him.
With the Manchester club bringing in Mateo Kovacic earlier in the window from Chelsea in a deal worth an overall fee of £30m, he could be more suited to what Guardiola wants from his midfielders, but only time will tell as the season progresses.
Moving forward, having walked away from Rice, it’ll be interesting to see if the European champions end up bringing another midfielder to the club before the summer transfer window draws to a close.