Having established himself as one of the world’s best defensive midfielders, Rice has been the subject of much transfer interest over the past few years.
The England international has been a key player for club and country and until recently had remained very committed to West Ham.
But in November, while at the Qatar World Cup, Rice expressed his desire to leave the London Stadium and play for a Champions League club, and it seems David Moyes and co. will grant him this wish next summer.
The 24-year-old’s contract is up in 2024, and while there is an option to trigger a one-year extension, The Athletic report that the Irons have conceded that they cannot keep the player against his will.
Rice has rejected three new contract offers from West Ham, the last of which would have seen him become the highest paid player in their history, and it has been nine months since talks were last held.
While he has no interest in signing a new deal, Rice will not submit a transfer request to force a move, but West Ham know that this summer is the last chance to cash-in a sizeable fee for the midfielder.
Moyes has previously stated that Rice is valued upwards of £100million, but it seems unlikely that any potential buyer will bid that much.
It is also reported that Chelsea have a clear advantage over United in the race for his signing, thanks to his strong connections to Stamford Bridge.
Rice came through Chelsea’s academy before getting released at the age of 14, though he still remains fond of the club and is close friends with Blues and England star Mason Mount.
Frank Lampard attempted to bring him back to the Bridge in 2020 and Graham Potter’s side are in need of new midfield options as both N’Golo Kante and Jorginho are out of contract at the end of the season.
In the meantime, Rice will be preparing for the resumption of the Premier League, with 16th placed West Ham facing a tricky test when they visit top of the table Arsenal on Boxing Day.
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