Declan Rice sends Man Utd star message after Carabao Cup final to fuel Old Trafford transfer rumours
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Declan Rice has sent a congratulatory message to Luke Shaw following Manchester United's Carabao Cup final win over Newcastle.
Shaw set up Casemiro for United's opener with an inch-perfect free-kick shortly after the half-hour mark before Marcus Rashford doubled their lead minutes later.
Newcastle looked for a route back into the match in the second half but were kept out by a solid defensive performance from Erik ten Hag's side.
The Dutchman was rewarded with his first piece of silverware as United manager, with the club also still in contention in the Premier League, Europa League and FA Cup.
Rice sends message to Shaw
After the final, Shaw took to social media to celebrate the win, posting a picture of the trophy celebrations alongside the caption: "This is United."
West Ham captain Rice was quick to support his England teammate, replying: "Congrats brother", followed by a heart emoji.
Rice has been linked with a potential move to Old Trafford in the summer and clearly has ties to club through his England teammates.
The 24-year-old is out of contract with West Ham in 2024 and looks destined to leave this summer, even if the club avoids relegation.
But United are set to face competition for his signature, with Chelsea and Arsenal also linked in the midfielder.
Speaking earlier this month, transfer expert David Ornstein said he expected Chelsea and Arsenal to be most likely to sign Rice.
Speaking on The Athletic Football Podcast, Ornstein said: "We need to keep an eye on other clubs like Manchester United, who have often been linked with Declan Rice.
"But also, who will be the ownership at the time and are they still in the market to bolster their midfield in a way that we’ve been led to believe in recent years because they’ve been short of top midfield options until the arrival of Casemiro.
"Manchester City – I don’t sense that they’re strong on Declan Rice. But, if Ilkay Gundogan leaves, then clearly there is a need.
"It's just the sense you get, which can of course change, maybe it’s an Arsenal-Chelsea toss-up for Declan Rice, as things stand.
"The Jorginho deal very much means a high-profile, high-level number six is going to be on the agenda for Arsenal as things stand."
Rice will come up against United when West Ham travel to Old Trafford on Wednesday for their FA Cup fifth round tie.
The Hammers then face Brighton in the Premier League on Saturday, while United travel to Anfield for a huge match against bitter rivals Liverpool.