David Moyes has firmly denied any chance of Declan Rice leaving West Ham in this coming transfer window, with Manchester United an interested party for the England international.
After an impressive tournament with The Three Lions last summer, Rice has continued to show his qualities in the Premier League and Europa League this season, where he has been one of the standout performers for The Hammers.
“I think he’s been England’s best performer from the Euros. The most consistent performer,” Moyes told Sky Sports earlier this week.
“Some of the players are now playing very well, Harry Kane for example, but if you looked at it from the start of the season to where we are now, I’d put Declan in that very high consistent bracket.”
It is the second full campaign where the midfielder has taken the lion share of responsibility for the armband on the pitch, with Mark Noble‘s game-time decreasing as he approaches retirement at the end of the season.
Rice has played 159 games for the East London outfit since his debut against Burnley in 2017. His next appearance came against Manchester United on the opening day of the 2017/18 season, and the Red Devils have firm interest in the 23-year-old.
Reports from Ian Ladyman a couple of weeks ago claimed that Rice is known to be interested in a move to United, but the fee that West Ham are demanding is a record breaking £150 million.
However, Moyes denied that there was any chance of the club selling their prized asset in the summer. On whether these are just rumours, or if he had heard anything about his player leaving the club, the West Ham manager said: “If I had heard something, I wouldn’t tell you.
“But the best thing to say is that no we’ve not, and let me tell you, he’s not for sale. So, that may shut down any questions about Declan, but we do expect questions on him because he’s doing so well.”
Quizzed on if Rice cannot be replaced, the veteran manager recalled the sale of a certain 18-year-old that swapped Everton for a move to Old Trafford back in 2004 when Moyes was in the dug-out at Goodison Park, but recited that this summer was not the time for that to happen with his current star.
“Is he irreplaceable? Well, I had to sell Wayne Rooney early when I was at Everton. I thought Wayne was irreplaceable but what happens in football is you move on. That is what happens in football.
“Sometimes things like this do happen but we’ve got no intention of letting that happen at this present time here at West Ham.”