West Ham manager David Moyes has made it clear that any club looking to buy Declan Rice will need to dig extremely deep into their coffers.
Rice, 23, is one of the hottest properties in the English game at present. His form for both club and country has elevated him to the next level and, unsurprisingly, a few top clubs are keen. Both Manchester United and Manchester City are thought to be interested in the England schemer.
But it is links to Chelsea that seem the strongest at present. A report on Sunday suggested the Kingston upon Thames-born ace would prefer to join Chelsea if he does leave the London Stadium.
Rice was part of the Blues youth setup for eight years before moving to the East End in 2014. He has now made 174 appearances in all competitions for the Hammers and bagged nine goals.
And it was his injury-time strike that helped the capital outfit stage a late comeback to beat Kidderminster in the FA Cup. That match took place on Saturday but they will soon be back in action.
Roy Hodgson brings his struggling Watford side to the south of the capital on Tuesday evening. Moyes spoke to the media on Monday ahead of the contest.
Attention inevitably turned to Rice and his future. And, asked whether he was worth more than £100m, the Scot pulled no punches.
“Yeah,” he replied, per Metro. “I think I’ve said everything there is to say about Declan. He’s a really important player for West Ham, he’s someone who we value greatly and you can see what he means to the team.”
Rice learning from club stalwart
Rice has played every minute of 22 league games for West Ham in 2021-2022. He has also made three England appearances, having starred for Gareth Southgate’s side at Euro 2020.
He has the footballing world at his feet and may well earn a mega-bucks move in the future. But for now, the former Republic of Ireland Under-21 ace is happy to ply his trade with his present employers.
He is under contract until 2024 and there is the option to extend his deal by another year. Moyes would clearly love to do that and revealed that he is still improving thanks to the help of the club captain.
“As an individual, he’s a really improving young man…