West Ham manager David Moyes has illustrated once again that he is no mood to sell Declan Rice this summer by placing an incredible new world record fee on the midfielder’s head.
The England man is widely regarded as one of the Premier League’s best all-round midfielders. Still, only 23, he is closing in on 200 appearances for the Hammers and also has 28 caps for the Three Lions. It’s little wonder then that the captaincy for both club and country awaits.
Indeed, so good have been his performances that it’s little surprise to see a number of top clubs casting admiring glances his way. Having started out in Chelsea’s academy, they are one club who would be keen to get their hands on him again.
Links to Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City have also followed.
However, Moyes has made no secret of his wish to keep the player. To that end, and in the wake of interest in Rice last summer, Moyes placed a prohibitive £100m valuation on Rice.
Now it appears the Hammers boss has had a change of heart.
And in a further effort to dissuade the Premier League’s big-hitters from a move, Moyes has a new price in mind.
And now the Hammers boss reckons it would take as much as £150m to convince West Ham to sell.
That fee would put him third on the all-time transfer list behind Neymar (£198m) and Kylian Mbappe (£172m).
It would also represent a world record fee for a midfielder.
Explaining his thinking, Moyes – put simply – does not want West Ham to sell.
“The first thing to say is that he is not for sale,” said Moyes.
“But if you are interested, well, it will be north of that, because £100million was cheap last summer, and £150million just now would be minimum. But he is not for sale.
“I look at what Tottenham did with Harry Kane, albeit it in a different way. They said, ‘no, there is a price and if someone wants to pay the price, then we’d probably do it. If they don’t then he’s not going anywhere’. That’s it, they have kept him.
“In many ways, the football clubs are the people in charge, they’ve got the contracts.
“There will be times when players have got the power. But at the moment we have got Declan on the best part of a three-and-a-half-year contract. And like Tottenham have got Harry Kane on a contract, they control what happens.”
Declan Rice backed to stay at West Ham
Such is the West Ham United valuation, it seems hugely unlikely any club will ever meet their asking price.
As such, he appears destined to stay at the London Stadium for now. And with his contract not expiring until summer 2025, West Ham can enjoy Rice for another season at least.
West Ham price Declan Rice at £150m this summer
Declan Rice will cost £150m if any club wants to sign the midfielder from West Ham
That’s a scenario former Hammers striker Carlton Cole can certainly see playing out.
He told the Daily Mail: “Where is he going? I just can’t see him going anywhere and [clubs] affording the price.
“I don’t think Chelsea can do it at the moment for obvious reasons for this season.
“Where else is he going to go? Man United? No, they aren’t in a good place at the moment either. Why go to Man United when you can stay at West Ham?
“We’ll finish above Man United and no one is going to say anything. He is gonna stay at the best club possible.
“Especially if they bring somebody else in that compliments his style. You’ve got [Tomas] Soucek there, bring another striker in and all of this conversation will be done at the end of the season.
“I don’t see a reason why Declan Rice should want to leave. He is not the sort of guy that is going to be chasing after money, otherwise he’d have done that by now.
“He knows his home truths, he knows exactly what he needs to do and that is play regular football, and he is doing that at West Ham and he is the main man.”
That striker Cole is on about remains a very important issue for West Ham. As such, pundit Darren Bent is urging the Hammers to beat Arsenal to a £60m-rated hitman.