West Ham United star Declan Rice is not looking to force through a move away from the London Stadium as ‘he loves the club’, according to transfer insider Dean Jones.
The central midfielder is set to be the subject of interest when the window reopens in the summer, but the Hammers are desperate to keep him in east London.
What’s the latest news involving Rice?
According to the Daily Mail, West Ham have slapped a £150million price tag on Rice as they are keen to frighten off potential bidders.
The report suggests Manchester United are in pole position to seal a deal if the England international is to leave the London Stadium at the end of the season as the sanctioning of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has resulted in the Blues being unable to lodge a lucrative bid.
However, the Evening Standard have claimed Rice would still prefer to head to Stamford Bridge despite uncertainty over what the future holds for the west London giants.
If West Ham’s demands are met by an admirer, it would result in it being the most expensive transfer in British football history, surpassing the £100million Manchester City paid to sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa last year.
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What has Dean Jones said about Rice?
Jones understands that Rice is not agitating to secure a move away from West Ham despite being courted by some of the leading clubs in world football.
The transfer insider insists the 23-year-old is only concentrating on enjoying a successful end to the campaign having played a key role in the Hammers’ run to the Europa League quarter-finals and challenging for a place in the Premier League’s top six.
Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “He is just fully focused on West Ham at the moment. Even the people around Declan Rice are refusing to talk one way or the other about a summer transfer because West Ham are doing so well.
“He doesn’t want to unsettle anything and he loves the club.”
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What is Rice’s current contract situation?
Rice’s £62,000-per-week deal is scheduled to expire in the summer of 2024, but West Ham also hold the option to extend the agreement by 12 months, meaning they are in a position where they do not need to sell one of their prised assets unless their valuation is met.
The midfielder rejected two offers of a new contract last summer and has since made it clear that he has an urgent desire to play in the Champions League.
According to the Evening Standard, the Hammers are keen to tie Rice down to a lucrative long-term deal but it is not expected that Rice will agree terms.
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