By Sam Stone

16th Mar, 2023 | 4:10pm

West Ham United 'top' source delivers update on Declan Rice exit talk

West Ham United are yet to receive any inquiry for Declan Rice despite fresh speculation emerging on Thursday (16 March), according to Claret and Hugh.

According to Sky Sports journalist Florian Plettenberg (via Twitter, 16 March), Chelsea still view the 24-year-old as a “top candidate” to improve their midfield moving forward.

However, Claret and Hugh have since suggested the Hammers have yet to receive one inquiry for their talismanic captain.

“We were told again this morning by a top contact that clubs have made no inquiry at any time in any window and that the Arsenal stories can therefore be ignored,” they wrote (16 March).

“There has been nothing and our source declared: They may move at the end of the season if they are interested but there has been nothing so far. We take nothing for granted.”

Heating up

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The Rice exit talk is heating up once again. Although Arsenal have been talked about, Chelsea seems like his most likely destination. Whether Graham Potter’s side need him is another question. They’ve just dished out a record fee for Enzo Fernandez and also have N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic in their ranks.

But, Todd Boehly’s revolution at Stamford Bridge has shown no signs of letting up – and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Rice was the next player on the American’s shopping list. The 24-year-old’s departure will be tough to take for West Ham fans, but there will be an acceptance that it is the right move for the midfielder.

He has shown he is amongst the best in the World on the international stage and is destined to be playing in the Champions League. The prospect of Championship football is simply unthinkable for Rice.

There were rumours circling of his departure last summer, but the upcoming transfer window does seem like the adequate moment for his West Ham career to come to an end, regardless of which league the Hammers are playing their football in.