Writer claims Declan Rice has turned down new West Ham contract offers

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
West Ham midfielder Declan Rice. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images) /

West Ham fans will have had a rude awakening today as journalist Matt Law claimed that Declan Rice had put Manchester United and Chelsea on alert by rejecting two West Ham contract offers.

Declan Rice has been almost ever-present at the London Stadium over the past few seasons and is crucial to the side – as seen by the drop in results when he was injured at the end of last season – and is often the one responsble for deputizing as the on-field captain in Mark Noble’s absence. Despite this, the news may not be as bleak as it immediately appears.

Trusted insider ExWHUemployee suggested on The West Ham Way Podcast that the club always deals with contract extensions at Christmas. This came to pass when Antonio and Fabianski both signed new deals this year.

Some grew concerned, however, that no new Rice contract was revealed to reflect the immense progress Rice has made since his last renewal. Although, it should be noted that both Fabianski and Antonio were in the previous year of their contracts and therefore were likely priorities.

Writer claims Declan Rice has turned down new West Ham contract offers

While this is certainly not welcome news to West Ham supporters, it might not come as a surprise. The young England International has been crucial to England’s success at the Euros, and his displays have, according to Matt Law, ‘strengthened the belief that Rice could comfortably play for a Champions League club.’

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Rice himself has revealed his desires in the past to win trophies, and realistically his best chance at this would be to move to a club in the upper-echelons of the Champions League. However, it cannot be denied Rice has immense affection for West Ham, and it is doubtful he would ever force a move out of the club.

He is under contract until 2024, with the option for an extra year, meaning the club is certainly in a position of strength in transfer dealings and can therefore demand a high fee – ‘Bank of England money’ in the words of David Moyes. Consequently, even if Declan does not sign a new contract this summer, it is no guarantee he is leaving, and if he does, the club will be well compensated.

ExWHUemployee has confirmed this news, adding that ‘the contract offers have been below what Yarmolenko is currently on, what Hernandez was on and other well-paid players’ at the club. Frankly, Rice deserves far more than these players ever earned based on his performance to the club, and if he does want to stay, Sullivan must surely improve his terms and offer Declan a contract worthy of his ability.

West Ham has qualified for the 2021-2022 Europa League, which, alongside offering Rice an opportunity for silverware, gives the club a more robust international standing. It could be argued that now is the time to sell Rice (provided he does want to leave, AND his valuation is matched).

At the same time, the club has the allure of European football to attract a replacement and use the remaining money to secure transfer targets that are perhaps currently out of the club’s reach. While many would argue to progress, you should not sell your best players, clubs such as Leicester show that with the proper recruitment, this can be achieved.

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While the news is certainly not ideal, it is not all doom and gloom. Rice is an essential member of the squad, and he will continue to give everything to the club while he is here. Undoubtedly, the board needs to do all they can and give Rice a deal that reflects his importance to West Ham. If he does leave, it will be with respect and on the club’s terms.