By Sam Stone

21st Sep, 2022 | 7:09am

West Ham United are ready to entertain offers for club captain Declan Rice with the midfielder looking “certain” to leave according to Claret and Hugh.

Chelsea have been long-term admirers of the 23-year-old, with 90min reporting (24 June) that the Hammers turned down a fresh summer approach from the West London club.

Rice has turned down numerous contract proposals from the club with the latest coming in May, with the board offering him an eight-year deal, according to talkSPORT (11 May).

Claret and Hugh have now suggested (20 September) that his London Stadium exit looks inevitable.

Form needs to change

There’s a really bad feeling surrounding the Hammers at the moment, which shouldn’t be the case after a summer where the board backed David Moyes. For Rice to remain at the London Stadium, showing ambition in the transfer market was a must.

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With over £150million spent in the window, there was always going to be hope that the England international would get on board with the long-term project at the London Stadium. Sadly the initial signs from the new additions haven’t been promising.

Of course, there is still time for their fortunes to turn around in the 2022/23 season but ultimately Rice will be wanting to play Champions League football and if that can’t be achieved with the Hammers, then he will go elsewhere.

The frustrating thing for West Ham fans is that a European calibre of player has been added to Moyes’ squad over the summer. Lucas Paqueta, Gianluca Scamacca and Thilo Kehrer all come with international and European experience.

In an ever-competitive Premier League, they were the signings meant to take the Hammers to the next level and keep Rice at the club. If things don’t turn around soon then the chances of keeping the talismanic midfielder at the London Stadium become very slim.