West Ham will refuse to sell Declan Rice this summer after the midfielder turned down a staggering new eight-year deal worth £200,0000-a-week.
The England star, rated at £150million by his club, drove the Hammers to the semi-finals of the Europa League this season and the brink of the top six for the second season in a row. Rice has so far rejected three new deals with the Hammers who are keen to keep him from the clutches of the Premier League’s biggest clubs this summer.
But West Ham are confident no club will match their monster asking price for Rice, who has two years left on his contract with an option for a further year. Set against that, Rice’s camp still believe he could get between £300k-400k-a-week and Champions League football at one of the bigger clubs.
Manchester United are hunting new midfield options with Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata and Paul Pogba set to leave Old Trafford with their contracts expiring.
Manchester City are ready to turn their attentions to a new central midfielder with 37-year-old Fernandinho set to leave in July. And Chelsea are preparing for a squad overall after their title charge fizzled out and their were put out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage.
Blues boss Thomas Tuchel has insisted the club could not meet West Ham’s £150m asking price but Rice does still have admirers at the club where he was in the academy.
Rice has been outstanding this season to help West Ham defy the odds and pull off a string of big wins domestically and in Europe. He was awarded with the Hammer of the Year at West Ham’s end of season awards on Tuesday
The club still could still finish in the Premier League ’s top six if they win one of their last two matches and both United and Wolves – above and below them – fail to take maximum points from their remaining games.