The Lowdown: Fighting off interest
Although his contract at the London Stadium is not set to expire until 2025, the 23-year-old has been the subject of huge speculation in recent weeks after being linked with a move away from the Irons, with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea all said to be interested in his services.
However, it was claimed by The Daily Mail just last week that the east Londoners are confident that Rice will stay with them and become the new permanent club captain, and Kenny has insisted that the England maestro will commit his future to the Hammers.
The Latest: Rice backed to stay at West Ham
“That’s brilliant news for West Ham. We all know how good Rice is and I think West Ham lose quite a lot when he isn’t there.
“The simple fact is, I don’t think anyone will bid what West Ham will demand for him. The club has also proved it can take Rice into Europe and compete for cups.
“So why would he leave? Can I see Man City or Man United coming in him? Probably not.
“If they make him captain then that is a huge honour and I’m not sure he turns it down to go somewhere else if that is offered.
“He owes West Ham, they have given him a career. So I think he will stay and repay that.”
The Verdict: Rice could stay for another while yet
Rice has been a great servant at the club, having first joined from Chelsea’s academy at the age of just 14. He has since gone on to make 193 senior appearances in a claret and blue shirt, scoring ten goals and providing nine assists in all competitions during that time, as per Transfermarkt.
Such form has also seen him become a regular in Gareth Southgate’s England starting XI and he has enjoyed plenty of prominence on the world stage, having reached the Euro 2020 final with the Three Lions last summer. Therefore, you can see why Kenny feels that the 23-year-old owes a lot to his club.
It has been known that Mark Noble will hang up his boots and retire at the end of the season, so it wouldn’t come as a shock to see the £67.5m-rated Rice take over captaincy duties for the long-term and continue to provide inspiration from West Ham’s midfield for another few years yet.
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