West Ham manager David Moyes has issued a hands-off warning to Chelsea and Manchester United about Declan Rice.
Rice has established himself as one of West Ham’s most important players since emerging from their academy ranks.
The England international has been a key component of their side for a number of years now, and at the age 0f 22 has a big future ahead of him.
Should Rice continue to progress the way he has been doing, then West Ham may struggle to keep hold of him. Indeed, he is a major target for Chelsea.
Rice previously played in Chelsea’s academy before leaving for West Ham as a teenager. Since then, his former club have seen him become one of the Premier League’s most in-demand players.
Hence, they want to try and lure him back to Stamford Bridge – a move which may appeal to him. However, Man Utd have also been linked with a potential bid.
Of the two, Rice’s preference would be to return to Chelsea. However, staying with West Ham cannot be ruled out.
The Hammers are keen to keep hold of their star player, and manager Moyes will not entertain bids for him this month.
Moyes has confirmed that there has been no contact from Chelsea or Man Utd about Rice yet, and told them not to waste their time.
He told Amazon Prime of the rumours: “They’re not true.
“We’ve had no contact from either of those clubs regarding Declan and we wouldn’t want any anyway.”
Rice remains under contract at the London Stadium until 2024. West Ham hold an option to extend that deal by a further year.
Rice receives praise from Ferdinand
One admirer of Rice is former England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand – who recently noted similarities with his own attitude.
“He’s someone who wants to achieve, better himself and improve,” Ferdinand said.
“He’s like a sponge, he asks questions when you speak to him: ‘What was it like in your time?’ He reminds me of myself in that respect.
“He asks questions like, ‘What was he like, training with him?’. He wants to know everything because he wants to better himself. You can’t fault a kid like that.
“Good luck to him. I think it’s inevitable he will go but I think – if I’m being realistic – he will go in the summer. And I think it would be to Chelsea if he had his wish.”