David Moyes has warned Declan Rice’s suitors that it will take “humungous money” to convince West Ham to sell the midfielder this summer.
Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United are all planning moves for Rice and there is a feeling that the 23-year-old could look to leave after West Ham made no signings during the January transfer window.
The England international is determined to play in the Champions League and although the London Stadium club remain in the hunt for a top-four place, there are concerns that last month’s inactivity could cause their season to fizzle out.
However Moyes is adamant that Rice, who rejected two contract offers from West Ham last year, is not for sale. The Scot dismissed reports about his captain leaving and he refused to accept that the east Londoners, who visit non-league Kidderminster Harriers in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday, lacked ambition during the window.
“Maybe people don’t have enough to write about,” Moyes said. “But I can’t do anything about what people write about Declan Rice. I can’t stop that, except say to them that you will need humungous money to get close. That’s what you would need to do. They can write all they like, but he’s here for certainly a few years.
“But would we have liked to have added to the squad? Yes. We’ve tried to be ambitious. I want to take the club forward. I don’t want back-up players to give me extra in the squad. I didn’t need to pad the squad out.”
West Ham, who are fifth in the league and through to the last 16 of the Europa League, had club-record bids for Benfica’s Darwin Núñez and Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha turned down. Moyes had funds available and he warned that Rice, who has 2½ years left on his current deal, with the option of another year, will cost a lot of money.
“I said in the summer that I thought Declan Rice was £100m,” West Ham’s manager said. “That was the sales, that was cheap, that was your chance to get Declan Rice cheap. You can make your mind up what I’m talking about.
Moyes insisted that Rice is committed to the club.
“I feel it. He’s like a special edition, Declan Rice, there’s not many like him. He’s a special player and for me he is probably the best midfield player in Europe at this present time.” – Guardian