By Jonty Banks

6th Dec, 2022 | 9:10am

Declan Rice was tricked into controversial West Ham United comments by reporter - Kaveh Solhekol

Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol has admitted Declan Rice was tricked into recent controversial comments about his West Ham future by a reporter who broke an unwritten rule at the press conference.

Rice was the centre of attention after using an England World Cup press conference to outline his future footballing ambitions at club level.

The Hammers captain all but confirmed that he could leave the east London club in the near future and pursue Champions League football at another Premier League club.

And with the 23-year-old’s contract expiring in 2024, it is thought West Ham will cash in on their prized asset before potentially losing him on a free transfer later down the line.

However, when speaking to Sky Sports, Solhekol revealed that Rice was tricked into his comments by a fellow Sky Sports colleague who broke an unwritten media rule.

He said: “There’s a little bit of an unwritten rule in these press conferences with England where journalists are not really supposed to ask questions about club matters.

“However, one of my colleagues asked a very clever question that got Declan Rice to talk about his future.

“Effectively, he’s got two years left on his contract at West Ham this summer and, so far, all the indications have been that he’s not going to sign a new contract. You would think next summer would be the optimum time for West Ham to sell him, otherwise, his value will start coming down.

“There’s a general feeling he will leave West Ham this summer, although, of course, they don’t have to sell him. If he was to go, I think he would cost somewhere around £100m.

“The clubs who would be interested? We’re talking about Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City, and possibly lots of other clubs as well.”

Honesty

Is there anything wrong with Rice just being honest with both the club and the fans?

Although news of a potential exit will come as a sucker punch to Hammers fans, it is refreshing to see a player speaking honestly instead of moving behind the scenes to force through a transfer.

Rice is a player who is West Ham through and through, so an exit from his beloved club will prove a huge moment in his career.

But when looking at the likes of Jack Grealish at Aston Villa and even Graham Potter at Brighton, the lure of European football and competing for silverware on a regular basis is just too strong for many players in modern-day football.

Yes, the comments in the press conference were a little untimely, but Rice is just answering them with a maturity that he has displayed both on and off the pitch for the Hammers in recent seasons.