There is a “good chance” that West Ham captain Declan Rice will leave at the end of the season, manager David Moyes has admitted.
The midfielder’s contract is due to expire in 2024, although the Hammers have the option of extending it for a further year.
So far Rice, 24, has rejected all efforts to sign him on an extension amid interest from virtually every top club in England.
“We hope Dec stays,” Moyes said.
“We would like him to be a West Ham player, but we are aware that may not be the case. That is one of the scenarios.
“Our plans are to have Dec here, but we’re also fully aware there’s a good chance we won’t get him.”
“A world star who overtook West Ham”
England international Rice has come through West Ham’s youth system and has 243 appearances in all competitions since 2017.
He’s been a virtual ubiquitous for the Hammers this season.
Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool belong to clubs having been linked to Rice.
“Everyone would love to have Declan Rice,” former Manchester United and Bayern Munich midfielder Owen Hargreaves told BT Sport during their coverage of Thursday’s victory in the Europa Conference League semi-final first leg. against AZ Alkmaar.
“He plays with a bit of swagger about him now. He’s kept it simple and safe at times, but now it feels like Declan realizes he can do anything on a football pitch. He doesn’t has no weaknesses in his game.
“He would start in every Premier League team except Manchester City because Rodri is one of the best in the world. That’s his position, he won’t be number 10 or eight. He can be one of the best in the world as a defensive midfielder.”
Former West Ham winger Joe Cole believes Rice would fit into any team in Europe.
“He’s exceptional,” he said.
“Everything West Ham does well comes through him. He has added things to his game this year. He was adding goals to his game and he can do anything.
“He just keeps getting better. Any team in Europe would have him in their squad.”
Former Brighton striker Glenn Murray believes Rice should play in the Champions League.
“At this point in his career, Declan Rice has almost, for lack of a better word, outgrown club football,” he said on BBC Radio 5 Live.
“I think he should play in Champions League games and for a top six club. He’s a world star, and I think his star will only grow and shine.”