Declan Rice is expected to seek a move away from West Ham United next summer, according to emerging reports…
What’s the word?
90min’s Graeme Bailey claims that the 22-year-old midfielder expects the current season to be his last at the London Stadium amid interest from the Premier League’s ‘big four’ – Manchester United, City, Chelsea and Liverpool – in recent windows.
It’s thought that the Irons are considering offering Rice a new contract, despite his current deal expiring in 2024, as his wages do not represent his position and stature in the squad.
The England international is said to be open to the idea but only if it contained a release clause – something that the east Londoners do not do, so that puts any potential extension in jeopardy.
He’s also committed to the club for the upcoming season but it will certainly be a cause for concern as next year approaches.
One final year?
This latest development from the Hammers’ Rush Green base will certainly leave much of the fanbase worried and probably quite angry too.
Chelsea were heavily mooted with interest in Rice back in January but manager David Moyes played down their chances of selling up.
“I said it right at the start and I’m only repeating myself – Bank of England money would be required, and you might even need to add Bank of Scotland on to that as well because he has been so good,” he claimed, via Goal.
However, given the spending of some of the top clubs this window, that may not be enough to deter them from launching a bid, and if Rice truly does expect to leave the club next year, it doesn’t bode well whatsoever.
Rice is an integral part of Moyes’ squad, so both the Scotsman and the Irons faithful will certainly rue his absence.
He finished the 2020/21 campaign as their fourth highest-rated player (7.01) and has continued that fine form into the current season, in which they remain unbeaten.
The 22-year-old has averaged a 7.64 WhoScored rating from his three starts in 2021/22 and tops the charts for interceptions per game (2.3) and for passing accuracy (94.9%).
It’s no wonder so many clubs are so keen to sign him, given that level of consistency at the very top.
Now capped 24 times by England, Moyes and co may face a struggle to keep hold of their star man as the season rumbles on, so this latest news could come as a hammer blow in the long run.
AND in other news, David Moyes handed huge West Ham boost as report emerges, fans will be buzzing…