By Daniel Feliciano

16th May, 2022 | 8:14pm

Rio Ferdinand shares verdict on Declan Rice after news of 8-year contract offer from West Ham United

Rio Ferdinand has questioned why West Ham have offered Declan Rice an eight-year deal and has admitted he expects him to leave for trophies elsewhere.

Rice has reportedly been offered an eight-year deal worth £200,000 per-week to stay at West Ham [talkSPORT], but has no intention of renewing his contract currently.

Now Ferdinand, speaking on his ‘Vibe with Five’ podcast says Rice must establish which teams want him before making a public decision on his future, but expects him to leave eventually rather than becoming the next Mark Noblee.

“Before the show everyone sits in the office talking about stuff and Declan came up, and everyone put their five pence in,” he said.

“Eight years? Who the hell signs an eight-year deal? It all depends on what Declan Rice wants to do with his career. If he wants to do a Mark Noble, which we saw this weekend is a phenomenal feat, to stay at one club in the Premier League like he has, Declan Rice would be the captain for the next ten years if he wants and he can finish like Mark Noble. He’s seen it and he’ll say, ‘do I want that?’.

“He’s got the option to do that if he wants, it’s there for him. Eight year deal if you believe what we’re seeing in the papers.

“But I don’t think Declan Rice is Mark Noble. Declan Rice is somebody who sees himself going to a bigger club, all due respect to West Ham, and going to fight for honours in the Premier League.

“Declan Rice will be saying, ‘I want the chance to go and play consistent Champions League football, and a chance to win it’. He probably wants to win the Premier League first.

“I think the next port of call for Declan Rice is ‘who wants me?’. You’ve got to find out who wants you. Before you make a public display, it’s ‘who wants me?’.

“Before I went to Leeds, I knew Man United wanted me. But they were the best team in the country as well. And I knew they were going to pay the money that they wanted. So I could go into Leeds, to see the chairman and sit in his office for five hours and say, ‘I’m not leaving til you let me go, and I know you need the money.’

“Right at this moment in time I don’t know who the clubs are that are going to do that. Are City in the market for a Declan Rice? Are Chelsea in the market for a Declan Rice? Are Liverpool? Then you’ve got Man United.

“Then you’ve got to ask Declan Rice the question. Does he go to leave West Ham, who at the moment are basically fighting with Man United for the same positions. Does he want to go to Man United? You’re going to Man United, if he does turn up at Man United, to be the catalyst for the next generation to win stuff. To be the guy that leads that charge maybe. And the stature of the club.

“But if you want to win trophies, then Man United right at this moment, there’s a big question mark.

“I don’t think Declan is a pocket watcher. I don’t think he’s thinking about money. It’s a big amount of money, the difference in money [wages], but Declan is a very… he’s a football man. He wants to be in the best position to do well.”

Inevitable

It seems like a broken record but yes, Rice will probably leave the club at some point to go and play at the highest level. But no, that won’t be this summer.

Right now the club hold all the cards for his future and Rice himself isn’t agitating for a transfer away because he knows the club are doing well and he loves it here.

As it stands Man United is a sideways move and nobody else is willing to pay the £150m asking price for him, which means he’ll stay. It’s that simple.

But eventually he’ll go on to be a regular in a side that is consistently competing for and winning trophies because that’s the level of footballer he is and will be for a long time.

It’s not about money and while his legacy is important, it doesn’t have to be at a single club. No Hammers fans begrudge him that either, but for now he’s one of us.

In other West Ham news, Dermot Gallagher says referee made right decision not to award penalty in West Ham United v Manchester City

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