By Pranav Shahaney

19th Jul, 2021 | 5:10pm

Carlton Cole urges West Ham not to sell their best players

West Ham have been urged by former striker Carlton Cole to avoid selling their best players amid growing interest in Declan Rice’s services.

The England international starred at the EUROs and even prior to that was subject to interest from a number of Premier League clubs.

The Hammers have stayed firm and have stated that the midfielder is not for sale, but until a new deal isn’t signed there still is uncertainty about his future.

Discussing Rice’s influence on West Ham and the reported interest in his services on talkSPORT, Cole said, “He’s just becoming more desirable. All it is with Declan is that he needs games at the highest level, and we’re [West Ham] getting there.

“I’m going double that [double of £50million] given how integral he is to West Ham.

“If you start selling your best players like that then we’ll be in trouble.”

Hands are tied

While we would love to see Rice stay put at the club, we have to understand that we’re run as a business and if there is a club that’s willing to break the record for an English player, there’s a good chance that David Sullivan will say yes to the transfer.

Eventually, if we don’t progress as we would like to, Rice may not want to stay put in East London and could prefer moves to Champions League clubs that would offer him more in wages and a shot to compete for all the major honours.

As things stand, we expect him to stay beyond this summer and maybe even sign a contract extension with a huge pay hike, but we know that if he asks to leave, our hands are tied and we would have to comply.

So far he’s not said anything that’s suggested he wants to leave, neither have any reports hinted at there being any second thoughts from his end.

We cannot wait for next season and to see Rice in action at the London Stadium.

Fingers crossed.

In other West Ham news, Solskjaer shares where he expects Jesse Lingard to play next season amid West Ham links

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