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Chelsea handed Declan Rice transfer blow as West Ham’s asking price & Champions League stance revealed



(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

West Ham have set two asking prices for midfielder Declan Rice amid growing transfer interest ahead of the summer transfer window.

The 24-year-old has attracted heavy interest from Premier League clubs and it’s set to be a summer of speculation over the England international’s future.

Arsenal, who believe they are leading the race, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United are all showing interest, while Newcastle United are admirers of Rice as well.

Rice’s contract expires next summer but West Ham have an option to extend his deal by a further 12 months, effectively tying him down in east London to 2025.

But according to the Daily Mail, West Ham are now ‘resigned to losing’ Rice this summer should a suitable offer arrive.

It’s suggested that West Ham will have to let Rice leave this summer because the club captain is ‘ready to compete for the biggest trophies’.

Rice wants to play in the Champions League and has already made his ambitions clear publicly, admitting at the end of 2022: “One hundred percent I want to play in the Champions League. For the last two or three years I’ve been saying that.

“I’ve been playing consistently well for my club and I feel like I really want to keep pushing. I see my friends here who are playing Champions League and for big trophies.

“You only get one career and at the end you want to look back at what you’ve won and the biggest games you’ve played in.”

West Ham’s asking price has also been revealed, as reported by Sky Sports, but Rice’s Champions League hopes could leave Chelsea behind in the race should they be ready to act on their interest and make a bid.

It’s reported that West Ham will allow Rice to leave this summer if they receive an offer worth £120 million from a Champions League club, which would rule Chelsea out due to the Blues not qualifying for any European competition next season because of a dismal 2022/23 campaign.

However, David Moyes’ side would also accept £100 million plus a player for Rice. West Ham have already started to receive enquiries.

Following West Ham’s 1-0 win over Manchester United, Moyes admitted: “You’ve seen him play for England, you’ve seen the abilities he uses in recovering the ball and getting around people. He’s great across the ground, very quick. I’m pleased, but not surprised.

“That’s why he is probably the best English midfield player around and that is why he is going to be extremely expensive if anybody comes calling.”

Chelsea are prioritising three areas of the pitch to bolster in the summer window: a goalkeeper, a midfielder and a striker. But a final decision will be up to the next head coach, who is set to be former Tottenham and PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino, and he could be announced as early as this week.