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Declan Rice has been one of the names to be strongly linked with a move to Chelsea this summer, with Frank Lampard believed to be keen on signing the defensive midfielder.
Interestingly, Rice was omitted from West Ham’s squad for Saturday’s pre-season friendly against Brentford, as speculations continue to mount over his future at the club.
West Ham played two friendlies on the same day last week, against Ipswich and Wycombe, and Rice was also not included in those games. But then, the 21-year-old midfielder was included in Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad.
Rice has since returned for pre-season training, but is yet to feature in a game for the Hammers.
Coincidentally, as soon as West Ham boss David Moyes released his team to face Brentford, Rice posted on his Instagram stories, a photo which showed him to be working in the gym in a West Ham training top, accompanied by the message ‘back working’.
Could the Blues be closing in on the midfielder?
Meanwhile, Moyes has vowed not to sell Rice.
Moyes said last month: “My intention is not to sell Declan at all, my intention is to keep him.
“We can’t stop other clubs making offers but I’m guessing you [the media] will speculate, but the truth is we have had no offers for anybody. ‘He is a really good player and I see him helping us, I hope that he sees what we are trying to add which will make him excited about being at West Ham.
“Declan was reassured when he signed a five-year contract, when you do that you decide you are committed to the club. If somebody then turns up and offers you a bundle of cash, that’s the club’s decision.
“I think Declan is the future captain of West Ham going forward. When Mark Noble comes to an end I think it will be Declan Rice. We have no intention of letting him go but if it does come it will need to be ‘Bank of England’ money.”