Transfer news: Rice rejects West Ham contract offers amid Chelsea, Man Utd interest

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West Ham United face an uphill battle to keep Declan Rice at the club after the 22-year-old midfielder reportedly rejected a pair of contract offers amid transfer interest from Chelsea and Manchester United.

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Having started all four of England’s games at EURO 2020 thus far, Rice’s stock has somehow managed to rise even higher than it was at the end of the 2020-21 Premier League season, when he played a massive part of West Ham finishing 6th and qualifying for the Europa League.

Rice, however, is reportedly desperate to play in the Champions League next season, and he’s willing to leave West Ham to do so (again, reportedly). With three years remaining on his current contract at West ham, Rice likely won’t find it easy engineering a move away from the London Stadium.

West Ham reportedly value Rice at $140 million, putting him in the same bracket as fellow England stars Harry Kane and Jack Grealish, both of whom were reportedly the subject of interest and/or mega-bids from Manchester City in recent weeks.

Declan Rice is famously a former member of the academy setup at Chelsea, where he spent nearly a decade developing as a prospect before he was released by the Blues at the age of 14, in 2014. Chelsea and England midfielder Mason Mount is a very close friend to Rice, which makes a return to west London all the more appealing.

The reigning European champions are yet to dip their toes into the transfer market this summer, but manager Thomas Tuchel is said to be backed with a sizable transfer budget as he looks to make the squad his own after taking over just days before the January window closed.

As for Manchester United, a central midfielder in the mold of Rice is sorely needed at Old Trafford. Jadon Sancho is expected to be unveiled as the key attacking signing of the summer, but the 21-year-old winger will only serve as a part-time solution to paper over the cracks if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer isn’t handed a midfield general capable of shielding the backline.

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