Declan Rice hands Chelsea and Man Utd transfer lifeline by rejecting new deal

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Declan Rice appears to have handed Chelsea and Manchester United a transfer lifeline by rejecting the offer of a new West Ham contract. The midfielder has starred for West Ham over recent seasons, helping them to reach the semi-finals of the Europa League this campaign.

His performances have seen him attract interest from a range of clubs, though West Ham have been desperate to keep hold of him. Twice before they have offered him a new contract and both times the England international has turned them down.

According to transfer insider Fabrizio Romano, the Hammers have now made a third attempt to extend his deal. But once again Rice has turned them down and while he is ‘committed’, he is now ‘open’ to a departure at the end of this season.

While ‘no agreement’ have been reached between the two parties, West Ham continue to insist that he is ‘untouchable’. That stance might need to reconsidered with Rice now refusing to sign to sign a new deal.

Had Rice had signed the contract that West Ham offered, he would have become the highest-paid player in the club’s history with a wage of £200,000 a week. The Hammers remain reluctant to sell him though, with his current deal still having two years left to run.

That has given them some breathing space, with Sky Sports reporting Rice will not be sold this summer, even if his refusal to sign a new deal continues. They would be open to selling him next year, though Hammers boss David Moyes has previously suggested that could take an astronomical fee.

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“If you are interested, well, it will be north of that. One hundred was cheap last summer. One hundred and fifty just now would be minimum but he is not for sale. What I do know is that it means there are only certain clubs that could even consider it,” Moyes said when asked if it could take a fee of £150million.

“Let me tell you, he’s not for sale. So, that may shut down any questions about Declan, but we do expect questions on him because he’s doing so well. Is he irreplaceable? Well, I had to sell Wayne Rooney early when I was at Everton. Sometimes things like this do happen but we’ve got no intention of letting that happen at this present time here at West Ham.”

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