Declan Rice: West Ham chairman David Sullivan is ‘99%’ certain the midfielder will quit the club.
West Ham chairman David Sullivan believes captain Declan Rice will leave the club this summer and is “99%” certain of it.
The England midfielder, 24, has been heavily linked with a move away from the London Stadium.
Sullivan told BBC Radio 5 Live after Wednesday’s Europa Conference League victory against Fiorentina: “We promised last summer that if he gave us his all, we would let him leave the club.”
“It’s the proper and fair thing to do.”
Rice became the club’s third captain to win a trophy on Wednesday, following in the footsteps of the great Bobby Moore, who won the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965, and club hero Billy Bonds, who led the Hammers to the FA Cup in 1975 and 1980.
Rice has played 245 games for West Ham and scored 15 goals since making his debut in the 2016-17 season after coming through the academy.
He played three times for the Republic of Ireland before switching allegiances to England, for whom he has been capped 41 times, including all five World Cup matches last year.
Rice’s reaction to West Ham’s first major trophy in 43 years, as well as transfer news
Rice’s contract expires in one year, but West Ham have the option to extend it until the summer of 2025, putting them in a strong position to negotiate a large transfer fee.
“West Ham is a very proper club, and we do things the right way,” Sullivan remarked. “At the same time, we don’t want some club having us over, and a replacement is going to cost 50 to 60 million, and they’re not going to be as good as him.”
Sullivan was “elated” with the win in Prague and insists he never lost faith in manager David Moyes despite the club finishing 14th in the Premier League.
“It was a lovely night because we’ve had a terrible season, there’s no point saying anything other than we’ve had a disappointing season,” he remarked.
“I didn’t expect it, but we all thought we’d win this trophy from the start.”
“We’ve been completely supportive of the manager.” We’ve called him through difficult moments and told him, ‘whatever you read in the papers, you are our manager and you will be our manager at the end of the season.'”
Rice was named to the Uefa Conference League Team of the Year alongside Alphonse Areola, Nayif Aguerd, Jarrod Bowen, Lucas Paqueta, and Michail Antonio.
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Former West Ham defender Julian Dicks, who was part of Rice’s coaching staff during his breakout season, said Rice’s departure would leave a gap in midfield.
“He almost never gives the ball away.” That’s fantastic for a midfielder. Dicks told BBC Radio 5 Live, “He’s an asset to any club, and West Ham will miss him.”
“Everyone wants to win trophies.” They make enough money, so it can’t be about money. Dec has every right to want to go and win trophies. I’m sure he’d stay if West Ham won trophies every other season.”
“Rice has been a leader and driven people on,” West Ham veteran Trevor Brooking told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“[The] broad consensus is that he will go on, but in what manner? He could have left earlier, but given how things turned out, he couldn’t have wished for anything more.
“When someone leaves a club like that, you normally expect fans to be upset, but he is such a credit to the club.” We wish him the best of luck.”