West Ham United and England star Declan Rice has been told that he is “good enough” to play for any club in Europe.
Rice has progressed into a bloody good footballer and West Ham are a little fortunate to still have him on their books ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.
His contract is not due to expire until 2024 so the Hammers were in a position to demand whatever they wanted for Rice this summer.
They did just that, as David Moyes declared back in April that he is valued at £150m.
West Ham will know that Rice is not worth that much. They simply attempted to scare rivals off from making bids this summer.
This has worked a treat as the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United have not moved for Rice at the time of writing.
So the midfielder looks set to be key for West Ham again next season as they attempt to challenge for a European place once again.
Club legend Tony Cottee is wary though that West Ham may have to sell Rice next summer.
He concedes that “the only way” the Hammers can keep him is if they qualify for the Champions League. This is pretty unlikely, so Cottee thinks Rice will be sold next year for £90-100m:
“West Ham have done well to keep Declan this season. It was important that they stamped their authority and put a ridiculous price tag on his head,” Cottee said (quotes via The Mirror).
“If you don’t pay £120 million for Harry Kane, you’re not going to pay £150 million for Declan. But the further into his contract he is, the cheaper he will be.
“This time next year, you might be able to pick him up for £90 million or £100 million, which is more realistic for the big boys. I can honestly say Declan is good enough to play for any of the top six clubs in this country, as well as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, PSG… name any club in Europe, he is good enough to play there.
“I hope West Ham can keep him – but I fear the worst, as all West Ham fans do. The only way they can potentially keep him is for West Ham to get into the Champions League for next season, and I think that could be a step too far for them this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if, in a year’s time, he’ll be lining up for his new club.
He added: “He’s not getting any younger. He’ll be 24 this time next year and he’ll want to play Champions League football. Unless West Ham finish in the top four, I think we’ll see Declan playing for somebody else next year.”