The latest winners of the Europa Conference League, West Ham United, have permitted their captain Declan Rice to join another club this summer.
West Ham United chairman David Sullivan said Declan Rice has likely played his final match for the club’s Europa Conference League triumph over Fiorentina on Wednesday, June 7.
The 24-year-old English midfielder who has attracted the attention of elite clubs across Europe, has always wanted to play for a more competitive club since last season.
Sullivan said West Ham has promised Declan Rice that he would be sold this summer after the Europa Conference League. Hence, the club would keep to their promise.
“We promised him he could go. He set his heart on going”, Sullivan said in an interview with Talksport.
Declan Rice is the third West Ham captain that led the team to win a major title in the club’s history after Bobby Moore, who won the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965 for the club, and Billy Bonds, who led the Hammers to the FA Cup triumph in 1975 and 1980.
Rice joined the club’s senior team from the club’s academy in the 2016-2017 season, and since then, he has played 245 games in which he scored 15 goals in all competitions.
Rice’s contract with the Hammers has only one year left, but the club has the option to extend it through the summer of 2025, giving them a strong negotiation position to secure a hefty transfer price.
“You can’t ask for a man who has committed more to us this season,” Sullivan said.
“In due course, he has to get on and we have to get a replacement – or several replacements. It’s not something we want to happen. We offered him £200,000 a week 18 months ago. He turned it down.
“It’s cost him £10m to stay at West Ham in that time [in lost wages]. And he wants to go. You can’t keep a player who doesn’t want to be there. The offers will start to come today.
“There are three or four clubs who have shown interest but, out of respect to West Ham, while we’re still playing, you don’t make offers for players.”