Both United and Chelsea have been persistently linked with a move for the 23-year-old, who has evolved into a key player for Gareth Southgate’s England team over the past 18 months. Rice has now racked up 28 caps for the senior side and played a pivotal role in England’s historic run to the Euro 2020 final last year.
And his stock has only risen further in the Premier League this year with the Hammers, who have been chasing an unlikely top-four finish for the majority of the campaign. The midfielder has also been the driving force behind West Ham’s fairytale run in the Europa League, with the Londoners set for a semi-final showdown with Eintracht Frankfurt next week.
In light of Rice’s rapid development over the past couple of years, West Ham have been desperately trying to tie their talisman down to a new deal. However, a new report from The Guardian has revealed that Rice has refused to commit his long-term future to the club again – but the Hammers remain determined not to cash in on their prized asset.
The report outlines that Rice – who still has two years left to run on his current deal – has now turned down three contract offers from the club. The Londoners are currently under no pressure to seal as they hold an option to extend Rice’s deal for an additional year.
It’s claimed that Rice has ‘no intention’ of penning a new deal with the terms currently on offer – despite the fact that the most recent offer tabled by the club was worth around £200,000-a-week; a deal that would have made him the best-paid player in Hammers history.
David Moyes recently slapped a huge £150million price tag on the midfielder’s header in a bid to ward off interest from rival suitors. The Scot said: “£150 million just now would be the 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.”
Both United and Chelsea are likely to find that sort of sum too rich, with United in particular facing a major rebuilding job under new manager, Erik ten Hag. Meanwhile, Chelsea have a long-standing interest in Rice – who was on their books as a teenager before he was dumped – but any transfer decisions will hinge on their new owners.
While the Hammers are set to resist any offers for Rice in the summer, it’s anticipated that the Londoners’ stance will soften the following year if an adequate proposal is submitted.