Declan Rice has evolved into one of the world’s best midfielders in recent years.
Rice really is the complete midfield package these days and it’s why the Hammers are so desperate to keep him beyond this season.
Without him holding everything together in the middle of the park, you feel the progress made by the club in 2021/22 will have been mostly for nothing.
And West Ham have now played their hand with regards to Rice’s immediate future.
According to talkSPORT’s Jim White, David Moyes’ side have offered their talisman an enormous eight-year contract (the same length as Alan Pardew’s at Newcastle United) with wages worth around £200,000-a-week.
White said: “Let me tell you the lengths West Ham are going to keep Declan Rice at the football club. It is my understanding that West Ham are 99 per cent certain they will not sell Declan Rice this summer.
“Declan Rice has been offered an eight-year deal at West Ham United worth £200,000-a-week on a rising scale to match inflation.
“An eight-year deal worth £200,000-a-week. At this stage he is showing no inclinations to sign it.
“This eight-year deal could become a ten-year deal, if Declan and his people wanted such a deal worth £200,000-a-week.”
Mental, right? The salary quoted by White would make Rice comfortably West Ham’s highest-paid player.
Going by the figures on Spotrac, he’d be on £80,000-a-week more than anybody else in the squad, with Kurt Zouma’s £120,000-a-week wages currently the largest.
It’s a bold move from the Hammers and it will be very interesting to see how the story develops in the coming days.
Rice has been heavily linked with a move elsewhere this summer, with Manchester United reportedly making him one of their top targets.
West Ham have slapped a £150 million price tag on him, though, which could put potential suitors off for the time being.
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If Rice eventually puts pen to paper on the aforementioned eight-year contract, the figure to acquire his services would almost certainly move way over the the £200 million mark – and that would be a world record fee.
Over to you, Declan…