When 26-year-old Jarrod Bowen broke free via a through ball pass and put the ball into the back of the net against Fiorentina in the 90th minute in the 2022/2023 UEFA Europa Conference League Final, not only did he end West Ham United’s 43-year trophy drought, he also won head coach David Moyes his first major trophy in the latter’s 25-year managerial career. The eventual prize ceremony saw young captain and England star Declan Rice lifting the trophy for the Hammers, in what would be his final act as a West Ham United player.
West Ham Chairman Confirmed Declan Rice’s Departure
Just moments after the Hammers being awarded a first title in more than four decades, multiple reports indicated that 24-year-old midfielder Rice is ready to leave the club, having played his entire senior career with the East London outfit. These rumours were later confirmed by Hammers’ chairman David Sullivan, in which the 74-year-old mentioned that Rice is allowed to leave West Ham United and the club is ready for any bids to come through.
“He set his heart on going and in due course he has to get on and we have to get a replacement. It is not something we wanted to happen. We offered him £200,000-a-week 18 months ago and he turned it down. You can’t keep a player who doesn’t want to be there. I think the offers will start to come today. Three or four clubs have shown interest but, out of respect to West Ham, while we’re still playing, you don’t make offers for players”, said Sullivan in an interview with talkSPORT.
As for the player himself, Rice chose to remain silent about the next stop in his professional football career. “Look at the moment there’s a lot of speculation about my future. There is interest from other clubs, that’s out there, but ultimately I’ve still got two years left at West Ham. There hasn’t been nothing yet (offers). Let’s wait and see, who knows” was the Kingston upon Thames-born player’s response.
Arsenal, Manchester United and Bayern Munich Eager to Win Rice’s Signature
Among the many clubs who are trying to emerge victorious in landing a prolific midfielder in Declan Rice, English Premier League giants Arsenal and Manchester United and newly-crowned German Bundesliga 1 champion Bayern Munich are the forerunners in this race, and they each have solid reasons to add Rice into their current squads.
Both Gunners and Red Devils had shown signs of returning to their glory days in the latest season, but squad depth and inconsistent performances from Mikel Arteta’s and Erik ten Hag’s men meant they had to settle for the second- and third-best positions in the Premier League, losing to the champion Manchester City. Someone like Rice would certainly boost their chances of beating Pep Guardiola’s side in the coming year.
As for the German champion, Thomas Tuchel suffered scares after scares following his appointment as the new Bayern Munich manager. The 49-year-old former Chelsea head coach will look forward to bring stability to his team during its quest of reconquering European football, and he has never been shied away of expressing his liking towards Rice.
Rice’s Hefty Price Tag
As one of the best defensive midfielders at the moment, Declan Rice is more than capable of participating in team attacks. This is especially true in West Ham United’s games in the past season, where the 24-year-old was seen being deployed into different roles that require all-around attributes. Having said that, these skills will not come at a cheap price, especially if West Ham United is to let go of its 24-year-old skipper to another Premier League club.
According to reliable sources, it will take a minimum of £120m for the Hammers to release Rice to a Champions League outfit. The East London club is also open to consider a player plus cash deal, should the offer be equivalent to their expensive asking price.
Where do you think England star midfielder Declan Rice will head to next, is it Arsenal, Manchester United or Bayern Munich?