Declan Rice worth ‘far more’ than £100m, says David Moyes

David Moyes has insisted that West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice is worth “far more” than £100 million and claimed that other players who have been involved in big-money transfer deals recently “could not lace his boots.”

Rice has been in superb form during West Ham’s march towards the top four of the Premier League and will once again captain the team against Leeds United on Monday night.

It was claimed this week that West Ham co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold now value Rice, who was a target for former Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard, at £100m – which would make him the most expensive British footballer ever.

But Moyes said: “I don’t agree with the owners that Declan Rice is a £100m footballer. Far, far more than £100m. I look at the players who have joined some clubs from overseas and come in and had nowhere near the impact Declan Rice would have. Also English, just had Brexit, so I wouldn’t agree with the owners if Declan Rice was only £100m. No, I wouldn’t.”

West Ham’s £18m sale of Grady Diangana to West Bromwich Albion last summer caused outrage among supporters and some players, including captain Mark Noble, but Moyes is confident that he can convince Sullivan and Gold not to consider bids for Rice without consulting him.

“The owners think he’s worth £100 million, well I completely disagree with that,” said Moyes. “I certainly wouldn’t put a price on it. You can decide which figure you want to put on it, but I wouldn’t be sanctioning anything like that, that’s for sure.

“I think every player will have a price in football, whoever you name, even Lionel Messi has a price. At the moment, we have had no contact for Declan and I am not in a hurry to lose him as you can imagine. 

Rice


Moyes does not think Rice, who has played 13 times for England, has to have European football at West Ham next season for him to stay 


Credit: Richard Pelham/POOL 

“Declan seems very settled and in fact he is captaining West Ham, plays for England and I want to keep Declan thinking that his ambitions can be achieved here at West Ham and I will have to keep pushing that and keep pushing that with the owners as well.”

Despite Lampard’s recommendation to sign Rice last summer, Chelsea did not make a bid for their former academy graduate and were put off by West Ham’s valuation which at that point was around £80m.

Chelsea did, however, spend £220m in last summer’s transfer window and Moyes added: “For me, I have watched the prices of some players who have gone to clubs recently and they could not lace Declan Rice’s boots.”

It remains to be seen whether or not Moyes’ valuation of Rice puts off potential bidders at the end of this season, but the Scotsman insisted he is not under added pressure to clinch Champions League qualification to guarantee holding on to his star player.

Rice has a contract that does not expire until 2024 and Moyes said: “Do we need the Champions League to keep Declan? No because Declan is under contract first and foremost, so he can’t go anywhere no matter what. 

“I keep saying and I hope people know that when I say something I mean it, we’ve not had an offer for Declan Rice and I hope we don’t get one. And you’ve got an idea now of where we’d need to be if it was even going to be considered, certainly by me. 

“So I’m looking forward to keeping Declan, I look forward to keeping all the boys and building a young team. If we could finish in Europe, in some sort of European position, I think it would be progress. And that would be progress for Declan Rice as well because he’s been at West Ham while they’ve been bobbing round the bottom, so this is new for Declan as well.”

West Ham’s turnaround under Moyes is best illustrated by the fact that Sunday marked a year to the day since the club played their final game before the coronavirus shutdown, losing at Arsenal, and were outside the relegation zone only on goal difference.

Having even secretly hoped that last season got curtailed to spare his team the threat of relegation, Moyes is now looking forward to the run-in and trying to maintain a push for European qualification.

“I remember the feeling that every game was about how are we going to get a result,” said Moyes. “But the Arsenal game gave us some confidence – we lost 1-0 and I came away from that with a little bit of hope. Then we had lockdown after that. 

“I actually hoped in many ways the season might have been curtailed because we were outside the box [relegation zone] on goal difference. So it shows you where we’ve come to now – there’s no questions about relegation, all the questions are about can you be in the top four, can you get into Europe? 

“The transformation from then to now is great. And, for me as a manager, obviously you don’t feel as much stress, you don’t feel as much pressure.What I will say is trying to challenge the top teams is always going to be tough, but I hope we can try and do that for as long as we can.”

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