Declan Rice has seemingly confirmed he will still be a West Ham player next season after revealing his squad number for 2019/20.
The young midfield enforcer has been the subject of fervent interest from both Manchester clubs but now looks set to stay in east London.
Could Rice still leave? Five things to know…
- Rice has enjoyed two breakthrough years, prompting interest from United and City.
- City are searching for a successor to Fernandinho while United are in need of midfield reinforcements.
- However, West Ham are believed to have rejected recent enquires and have since issued a hands-off warning.
- In the 2018/19 Premier League season, Rice registered the second-most recoveries of any outfield player (288).
- He has now revealed he will retain his No. 41 jersey for the upcoming season.
Under Manuel Pellegrini’s experienced tutelage, Rice has come of age in the Hammers midfield, sparking rumours of a move away from the London Stadium.
However, the England international has now all but confirmed he will still be donning the famous claret and blue strip come August 10 after revealing his No. 41 shirt will be upheld for the forthcoming campaign.
When quizzed on Twitter which shirt number he will be wearing, Rice replied: “Had loads of people asking this. I WILL be keeping 41 for this season.”
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“The fans love me and I love them”
Having only signed a new five-year contract extension in December, Rice spoke openly about the recent transfer links, though he was quick to reaffirm his commitment to the Hammers and the club’s fanbase.
In an interview with The Guardian last month, he said: “I know that there’s speculation but I signed a five-year contract with West Ham during the season.
“So my focus is fully on playing for West Ham. I’ve got a great connection with the fans; the fans love me and I love them and that’s the way it is at the moment.
“I’m not thinking about anything else, for sure.”