Declan Rice: Arsenal, Man Utd facing heartbreak as new suitor plans huge bid and West Ham star states: ‘I love this club’

Declan Rice of West Ham United celebrates with the trophy after the UEFA Conference League Final match between Fiorentina and West Ham United at Fortuna Arena on June 7th 2023 in Prague, Czechia

West Ham captain Declan Rice spoke openly about his “love” for the club but refused to be drawn on transfer speculation suggesting he is set to snub Manchester United and Arsenal for a lucrative move overseas.

There will be quite a few sore heads this morning for those associated with the Hammers after Wednesday night’s UEFA Conference League final success. An 89th-minute goal from Jarrod Barron earned West Ham a 2-1 win over Fiorentina in Prague, to lift their first trophy in 43 years.

It also means Rice stands shoulder to shoulder with the likes of club legends Bobby Moore and Billy Bonds to hold aloft trophies for West Ham.

But there is a growing feeling that the incredible night at the Fortuna Arena will be Rice’s last game for the club.

The England star has made clear his wish to play at a higher level next season. And while West Ham can offer him Europa League football, the 24-year-old is aiming for the very top and the Champions League.

And with two years left on his deal, West Ham are unlikely to stand in their captain’s way. However, David Moyes has made clear it will take a lofty bid to prise Rice away. Indeed, the Hammers boss has regularly pointed to the £105.6m paid by Chelsea for Enzo Fernandez as a benchmark.

The chase for Rice is seemingly being led by Arsenal. Mikel Arteta is determined to lure Rice across London to beef up his Gunners squad for bigger and better things next season.

And with Champions League football on offer, Arsenal appear to tick all the boxes.

Manchester United are also on the scene with Erik ten Hag seeking a top-class midfield partner for Casemiro.

READ MORETen Hag rockets Rice to top of wishlist after being left agast at West Ham star’s abilities

Bayern Munich go big for Declan Rice transfer

However, it seems the two Prem giants could miss per the latest reports.

And according to ESPN, Bayern Munich are planning to move heaven and earth to seal his signature. They claim Thomas Tuchel is prepared to move heaven and earth to get the deal done and is preparing a club-record Bayern deal.

Tuchel was a huge admirer of Rice’s while at Chelsea. And he has has seen at first hand just how good the 41-cap England man is.

Furthermore, he is said to be willing to pay whatever fee West Ham want for the midfield star. And his signing will be funded by the sales of several key men who are all free to leave.

To that end, Joshua Kimmich, Leroy Sane, Sadio Mane, Benjamin Pavard and Serge Gnabry are among those up for grabs.

In addition, Bayern have decided not to take up the £58m purchase offer in Joao Cancelo’s loan. As a result, Bayern are confident they can finance the deal and there is a growing belief they can pull his signing off.

Rice declares love for West Ham after UEFA Conference League success

In the meantime, Rice has had his say on the club’s glorious UEFA Conference League success.

“I’m so so happy . This is for all the people at West Ham, behind the scenes, the fans, this is for them,” he told BT Sport.

On Bowen’s winner, he added: “I said to myself out loud [as he ran through on goal], this is your moment Jaz…. I didn’t know what to do. I still don’t know now. I’m in shock”

“This is what it means to the fans, look at them. I absolutely love this club. They have made me one of their own. I’m just so so happy.

“To be in the conversation (of Bobby Moore) I can’t even describe. I’ve given my heart to this club in six years. I will do anything to make this club win. We’ve not had it easy… To win this now…. It’s unreal.

“A big mention as well to the manager [Moyes]. This year he’s been tested. Some of the fans wanted him out. But he’s now up there as one of West Ham’s best ever managers. He got every call right.

“Tonight has not hit me yet. I’m gonna try and take it in. I might be in the crowd!”

The conversation then turned to Rice’s future and asked about West Ham fans singing to him about staying for one more year.

Declan Rice refused to respond to talk that the possibility of moving to Bayern is growing. However, he was quick to make clear his love for the Hammers.

“There’s a lot of speculation going round about my future. There is interest from other clubs out there but ultimately I’ve still got two years left at West Ham,” he added.

“I love this club. There hasn’t been anything yet (concrete bids) and my focus is tonight and playing for this club. I love this club and I love being captain of this club.

“But let’s wait and see. Who knows…”

READ MOREDeclan Rice urged to reject Man Utd for bitter rivals with blockbuster Ten Hag deal left in tatters