West Ham manager David Moyes says the Hammers ‘won’t just roll over’ and let club captain Declan Rice leave.
But whilst the Scot is going to ‘fight’ to keep Rice beyond the end of the season, he admitted he’s not expecting to bring in any big name signings this January, despite the Hammers struggles this season.
The 23-year-old is said to have refused to extend his West Ham contract which runs until 2024, and whilst the club can extend it by a year, a big-money move looks to be on the cards in the summer, judging by Rice’s comments about wanting to play Champions League football.
But despite the Hammers currently sitting well off the European football spots in the Premier League in 16th place, Moyes is determined to hang on to his star player.
“He wants to win and play for a really good side which is going to give him the opportunity to do so,” Moyes told The Times before the Hammers’ Boxing Day clash against Arsenal.
“We hope that we can reach the Champions League,” he said. “It is looking difficult at this time, but we’re not just going to roll over and let Dec walk out of the building, that’s for sure. It is going to be a big fight.
“I like it because he wants to challenge himself and he wants to play in the big games and be a top player. I don’t think you’re ever going to hold anybody back from having those ambitions.
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“He played as well as anybody and he was exceptional at the World Cup. For a young player he really takes on responsibility.
“You think about how he is going to be in another four or five years, how he will mature and improve as a player and a leader, all those things are all to come and it’s all ahead of him.”
But holding on to Rice may be difficult, given Moyes’ side’s struggles this season following their seventh place finish in the Premier League last campaign.
And it seems they’ve picked up from where they left off prior to the break for the World Cup, falling to a 3-1 defeat after originally taking the lead against league leaders Arsenal on Boxing Day.
Said Benrahma put the visitors ahead, converting a first-half penalty, but Arsenal came out the traps in the second-half, scoring three through Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah.
But despite the Hammers now sitting just one point off the relegation zone after the loss, prior to the game Moyes said he doesn’t expect to bring in any marquee signings when the January window opens, due to the business they did in the summer.
“We brought the players in, we trust the players and we’ve got them,” he said. “Unless I see injuries I don’t see us doing any serious business.”
The Hammers next face tenth place Brentford on Friday evening.
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