By Peter Lynch

31st May, 2023 | 4:40pm

Declan Rice's father in 'secret meeting' over West Ham United exit in summer transfer window

The father of Declan Rice held talks with Bayern Munich regarding a summer move for the West Ham midfielder, according to BILD journalist Christian Falk.

Falk noted that the meeting took place when Bayern’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic was still at the club, with the former midfielder just recently removed from his role.

But his exit has not changed the stance of manager Thomas Tuchel, who recently held a phone call with the Hammers captain [Florian Plettenberg, 29 May].

“Yes, there was life between FC Bayern and Declan Rice and his father,” Falk told BILD. “Hasan Salihamidzic was still there, but it doesn’t change anything because Thomas Tuchel really wants the Englishman and the talks must have been very positive be on the table though.

“Bayern will have to pay at least €100m-€120m (£86-£103m), they have to put that much on the table. The problem is there are others who are also very interested to see if this transfer will go to Bayern.”

BILD say in their headline on their website that it was a “secret meeting” between Rice, his father and Bayern.

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One to watch

Rice’s future is perhaps the biggest transfer story this summer, with a long list of clubs seemingly chasing the West Ham and England star.

Given his displays for club and country, it’s clear to see why there is so much interest in the midfielder.

All of his focus is currently on helping the Hammers clinch the Europa Conference League trophy on 7 June, but it won’t stop the rumours circulating heavily about where he will be playing his football next season.

A move to Germany would surprise many, but it would also be great to see the young midfielder step out of his comfort zone and play in a country and league he is not familiar with.

Bayern Munich, however, are not playing in a very competitive league, with their hopes of winning the Champions League perhaps their only real method of persuading Rice to join their ranks this summer.