West Ham legend admits David Moyes has ‘no chance’ of keeping top star in obvious message to Liverpool, Chelsea

Declan Rice and Lucas Paqueta of West Ham

West Ham icon Mark Noble has spoken openly about Declan Rice and the prospect of him leaving east London, with both Liverpool and Chelsea interested in the central midfielder.

Despite being just 23 years old, Rice has already made 215 appearances in a West Ham shirt, scoring 11 goals in that time. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact he is now the Hammers’ selected captain, following Mark Noble’s retirement at the end of the last season.

Should he stay at West Ham, then Rice could become a club legend, just like Noble. But things are different in Rice’s case.

He has proven himself to be a top performer at the highest level, both in the Europa League with West Ham and on the international stage while playing for England.

As such, top Premier League teams such as Liverpool and Chelsea are keeping tabs on his situation ahead of potential bids.

Rice seems interested in making such a move, too. His deal at the London Stadium expires in summer 2024 and he has reportedly rejected a couple of contract offers from West Ham.

The all-action midfielder has also spoken openly about competing in the Champions League and for other big trophies, just like his England team-mates.

He said recently: “I see my friends here who are playing Champions League and for big trophies. You only get one career and at the end, you want to look back at what you’ve won and the biggest games you’ve played in.”

Mark Noble discusses Declan Rice transfer

It seems a transfer to a major club is inevitable. It is just a case of when it happens, rather than if.

And during an interview with The Guardian, Noble appears ready to see Rice move on. As much as he would like the academy graduate to stay at West Ham, he admits this will be almost impossible due to the money on offer.

“Whether you think things will get dicey at West Ham – and I don’t believe they will – we just can’t cope financially with the top teams,” Noble said.

“We can try our hardest to recruit the best players that the top five or six don’t buy – and we might get lucky with a few that slip through the net – but you can’t compete with these teams.

“They’re financially too powerful. If a top club wants Declan Rice they’re just going to pay for him, full stop. You’ve seen it with Jack Grealish, with the best players.

‘We ain’t got a chance’, says Noble

“If the top boys want them, we ain’t got a chance.”

Several pundits have spoken about Rice eventually taking the next step and joining a team who competes in the UCL. What is interesting here is the fact it is coming from one of West Ham’s most iconic players.

Noble has only recently retired, and he played with Rice on plenty of occasions. So he will know what the player is thinking and when a move might take place.

With Rice’s deal expiring in 2024, it is likely he will move on from West Ham at the end of this season. This will give David Moyes’ side the chance to sell him for a big fee, potentially as much as £100million.

Meanwhile, a Man Utd star is set to be pushed out by Erik ten Hag and West Ham are one of three teams waiting to sign him.