Moyes eyes explosive Declan Rice replacement at West Ham as target admits he feels ‘powerless’ with current club

David Moyes and Declan Rice of West Ham

David Moyes is hoping to bring in a firework replacement for Declan Rice this summer, and his main transfer target at West Ham has made a big hint he could secure a move to the London Stadium.

After rejecting several offers to extend his contract with West Ham, Rice is poised to leave the club at the end of the season. His current deal expires in June 2024 which means this summer is the best time for West Ham to sell so they can still get a good price.

Moyes has previously been stern about Rice, insisting he is not going anywhere. But the manager has now been forced into changing his tune.

Ahead of West Ham’s clash against Brentford on Sunday, Moyes said: “We honestly hope he stays.

“We’d love for him to be a West Ham player but we are aware that might not be the case at the end of the season.

“So that’s one of the scenarios around planning. There are plans that we have Dec here but we’re also fully aware there is a good chance we won’t have him.”

The battle for the all-action midfielder is heating up. Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag recently rocketed Rice to the top of his summer wish list.

But Man Utd will face fierce competition from Manchester City and Arsenal to sign him.

West Ham could replace Rice with Ligue 1 player

While clubs battle to put themselves at the front of the queue for Rice, West Ham must work out which player is capable of replacing their captain.

Surprisingly, the Irons are interested in capturing former Arsenal man Matteo Guendouzi to fill the imminent hole in their midfield.

In April, West Ham were backed to make a ‘big offer’ for Guendouzi, who now represents Ligue 1 club Marseille.

The Daily Mirror have reiterated such claims, putting Guendouzi at the top of West Ham’s shortlist of Rice successors.

And in a boost for the East London club, the player seems unsettled at Marseille. Guendouzi has lost his starting spot in recent weeks and failed to appear in recent league games against Troyes and Lyon. This has prompted Guendouzi to admit he feels ‘powerless’ at the Stade Velodrome.

“I don’t demand anything at all,” the 24-year-old declared. “I have a contract (until 2025). I have always faced my responsibilities, both on and off the pitch.

“I have commitments, and I’ll keep to them until the end. Obviously, it isn’t easy to be on the bench, I have always wanted to help the team and you feel powerless.

“But I can bring a lot to the team when I’m called upon. I will always give everything on the pitch.”

West Ham fans will likely be split by Guendouzi’s potential arrival at the club. During his time at Arsenal, he showed he can be a top Premier League performer as he is very intelligent with his passing and movement.

However, Guendouzi also proved himself to be a rather combustible player. His time at Arsenal came to an end after he grabbed Neal Maupay by the throat during a game against Brighton. Reports claimed Guendouzi had also been taunting the Brighton players about their wages.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was not happy about this and the Frenchman did not play for the Gunners again before being offloaded, initially to Hertha Berlin.

Should Guendouzi’s West Ham move go ahead, then the club’s faithful will be hoping he uses this fighting spirit in a positive manner, rather than getting involved in any controversies on the pitch.