West Ham United manager David Moyes says a “bargain” price tag of £100m for Declan Rice is no longer available as the midfielder continues to draw links with Manchester United and Chelsea.
The 22-year-old vice-captain has continued to go from strength to strength at the London Stadium since bursting onto the scene, with the midfield dynamo now the club’s matchday skipper in the absence of an ageing Mark Noble, a fully-fledged England international, and Moyes’ most important player.
Rice has been hailed for his consistency, maturity and athleticism, three traits which galvanised the Hammers last campaign and ensured they finished sixth in the Premier League table and secured Europa League football as a result, with the club so far winning all three of their group-stage games without conceding.
An intelligent player, Rice has only now started to receive recognition for his ball-carrying exploits, with any West Ham fan able to tell you that he is much more than defensive midfielder, instead he resembles more of a box-to-box engine at club level compared to his anchorman role for England.
Given his meteoric rise and the continuation of his development as one of the country’s most gifted midfielders, Rice has naturally seen his name associated with the usual suspects, chiefly the Premier League’s so-called traditional ‘Big Six’, but Moyes suggests anyone who wants to sign him will have to cough up over £100m.
Asked if he was concerned about potential poachers coming in and trying to prise Rice away next summer, Moyes told Sky Sports: “No I don’t, because there was a bargain to be got with Declan at £100m. That bargain’s now gone.
Declan Rice's game by numbers vs. Spurs:
100% long ball accuracy
93% pass accuracy
10 duels won
9 ball recoveries
8 tackles made
7 passes into final ⅓
Another classy display. 👏 pic.twitter.com/zcqIhkwkdu
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 24, 2021
“We have a lot of really good players at this football club. I think while you’re building and developing, people might always come and look at your players.
“But it’s good that they are because that tells us that they’re doing well.”