Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has a feeling that West Ham midfielder Declan Rice could end up leaving the club this summer and wouldn’t be surprised if a deal was finalised away from the media’s prying eyes.
Rice has been a sensational player during his nine years with the club.
After being promoted to the club’s senior first team back in 2017, the industrious midfielder has gone on to feature in 194 games, in all competitions, directly contributing to 19 goals along the way.
However, already captaining the side, the England international’s incredible performances have seen him heavily linked with a move to the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United.
Although it is expected that the 23-year-old will end up leaving the London Stadium at some point in the near future, fans will be hoping they can see their star man turn out in claret and blue for at least one more season.
Merson isn’t quite as hopeful though. Writing in his Sky Sports column earlier this week, the former Arsenal man said: “He’s going to Chelsea or Manchester United in my opinion,” he wrote. “United need that kind of player – but he can’t force a move.
“If you force a move – or the agent forces the move – you’re the one who has to go back and play if it doesn’t work out. He has to be careful as he’s a West Ham legend. And he will leave as one if he does it the right way.
“If it starts getting messy on the way to him leaving then everything he has done for the club will go up the wall. I don’t think he’s someone who will want that to happen.
“You don’t want to start getting booed as a West Ham legend. I think that will be sorted out behind the scenes.”
Where do you think Rice will be playing his football next season? – Let us know in the comments.