Declan Rice focused on West Ham - but has his sights on move in 2022

02 September 2021 05:45

Declan Rice is focused on this season with West Ham United, although 90min understands the player fully expects the campaign to be his last at the London Stadium.

West Ham have been considering offering Rice a new contract, even though his current deal runs to 2024, as his wages do not represent his position and stature within the club.

Rice would be open to signing a new deal on the proviso that it included a release clause, which would allow him to leave the club if a fixed figure was met by a potential buyer. However 90min has learned that West Ham have a rule of not including release clauses in contracts - meaning a new deal is now unlikely.

22-year-old Rice is regarded as one of the best young holding midfielders in world football, and the player's camp are aware of interest from around Europe.

The Premier League's big four, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool, have all made it known that they are very much interested in securing his signature next summer. Sources close to all four clubs have confirmed they are all 'interested' in Rice given his superb form over the last 18 months, while he also starred for England as they reached the final of Euro 2020.

Some of the clubs had been unsure on whether Rice's best position was as a holding midfielder or central defender, but the player now firmly sees himself as a holding midfielder - and that is not an issue with any of the teams looking at him as they now believe he has definitely proven himself over the past year.

Chelsea had always been considered the firm favourites to land Rice, who was once part of their youth system, but as it stands we are told by sources close to the situation that the player is just as likely to move to the north west with United, City and Liverpool as he is stay remain in London.

Rice is now expected to fully concentrate on this season with West Ham, with a new challenge of Europa League football to encounter on top of Premier League fixtures.

Source: 90min