West Ham: Journalist claims Rice happy to wait and leave in the summer
Declan Rice is said to be happy to wait until the summer to push through his West Ham exit – but it has to be for a Champions League club, according to journalist Ben Jacobs.
The Lowdown: No imminent exit
Rice has long been linked with a move away from West Ham, however, their recent success in Europe and qualify has seemingly kept him happy for a while but this season has been a struggle.
Amid West Ham only sitting above the bottom three on goal difference ahead of their clash against Leeds United, David Moyes has insisted that Rice won’t be sold this month, although what is in store for the summer appears far from certain.
According to Jacobs, the West Ham midfielder is said to be available for around £70m when the summer transfer window comes around, and that will likely alert several clubs.
The Latest: Rice wants Champions League football
However, speaking about the midfielder’s future on The Done Deal Show, Jacobs has recently insisted that only clubs with Champions League football on offer will be of interest to Rice.
He said: “It’s a wait-and-see, really, because Rice, I think, from talking to sources close to the player – a bit like I’ve said with James Maddison – will in all likelihood wait to see what he’s going to get.
“And therefore, if you qualify for Champions League football, you move ahead in the race; if you win the Premier League, you move ahead in the race.”
The Verdict: Exit now appears inevitable
The England international leaving West Ham for a bigger club that could constantly challenge for the top four and silverware was pretty inevitable, but it may have been accelerated by the Hammers’ shocking season and ultimately made up Rice’s mind.
It has been reported that clubs such as Chelsea and Arsenal are said to be interested in the London-based midfielder, but with the Blues some way off the top four, the Gunners could shockingly move into pole position to land a top talent.
What West Ham must now do with Rice looking set for the exit door is maximise how much they receive for someone they paid nothing for, and while it won’t likely be anywhere near the £150m clubs was quoted a few transfer windows ago, if they get north of £50m, that could seriously improve their squad and go at least some way to filling the void he’d leave.