Long-term Chelsea target and West Ham icon Declan Rice has dropped a big transfer hint that he will remain in east London with his rallying call after the Hammers’ Europa League semi-final defeat to Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt.
Rice, 23, has been a big reason for just how David Moyes’ side nearly made history in Europe but it was Aaron Cresswell’s rash moment that sent the east Londoners packing at the last hurdle. Colombian international and friend of Liverpool Luis Diaz, Rafael Santos Borre scored the only goal of the contest midway through the first half after the Hammers’ number 3 was sent off nine minutes prior for denying a goalscoring opportunity.
Eintracht Frankfurt held on to set up a meeting with Rangers after the current Scottish Champions knocked out RB Leipzig in the other semi-final to set up this grand piece event in Seville. For West Ham though, it’s back to reality after what has been a dream run for a side who hopes to keep their European status alive domestically with a strong finish to the 2021/22 Premier League season.
Amid constant speculation linking him to the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United, the Daily Mail have reported that senior figures at the club are confident of keeping the England international for at least one more season. This update coincided with Moyes’ recent comments on the future of his star after his side’s recent 1-0 defeat to Chelsea, who have been heavily linked with Rice.
“Who was the journalist who put it out?” Moyes asked regarding Fabrizio Romano’s Rice claims that were brought up after the London derby via CaughtOffside.com. After being informed it was Italian journalist Romano, the Scottish tactician then went onto say: “One of the local boys then.
“We like Dec – he has three-and-a-half years to go on his contract, so I don’t think there is any big panic. I sold Wayne Rooney and Everton got better, so it doesn’t always mean that things don’t happen. But as we have said before, we have no intention of selling, so I don’t know why you keep asking me.”
Fast forward a few weeks and when speaking in Germany after the defeat at the hands of Oliver Glasner’s side, as well as hinting that good friend Mason Mount wished him and West Ham good luck before the second leg, Rice also sent a message to fans wondering where he would be next season
"Gutted. We're gutted in there."
"We've given everything this year."
"The sending off was a sending off, but some of the other decisions were poor."
As always Declan Rice wears his heart on his sleeve. You can see how much this one hurts.
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 5, 2022
“Me coming off there, I have lost big games, the lads in there have lost big games, but I come off there with my head held high,” he said in an emotional interview to BT Sport. “We have given it such a good go, no one expected us to get past Sevilla, no one expected us to get past Lyon, we had a genuine belief from in the camp, with the fans and even from players from other teams texting us saying go out there and do it so we wanted to do it.
“It is a real gutter because I have got to listen to them celebrate, it is not nice, but we will be back. I am young, I want more. The lads want more. This club deserves more. We have shown as a club we can do these big European nights.”
‘We will be back’ doesn’t sound like the sort of statement that would come from a player who could have been on the move this summer. Furthermore, all the indications point to the midfielder remaining put this summer but nothing can be ruled out with the nature of transfer windows.