David Moyes says Arsenal and Chelsea transfer target Declan Rice will cost a new British record fee when he eventually leaves West Ham.
The 24-year-old gave another all-action and combative performance in the heart of the Hammers’ midfield on Saturday at St James’ Park, helping his side earn a point in a 1-1 draw against high-flying Newcastle.
Rice is widely expected to leave the east London club in the summer, however, particularly with the side set to miss out on European football after a disappointing campaign.
While the Hammers may have struggled, Rice has been as consistent as ever and is attracting attention from a host of the Premier League’s biggest clubs.
Chelsea have long been linked with a move for their former academy player and that interest remains despite breaking the British transfer record to sign midfielder Enzo Fernandez in a £106million deal from Benfica.
Arsenal are also ready to launch an assault on West Ham, with Mikel Arteta eager to add a new, top-class midfielder to his ranks after being rebuffed by Brighton for Moises Caicedo.
But West Ham boss Moyes still has not given up hope of keeping Rice at the club beyond this season and has told interested parties it will take an offer in excess of Fernandez’s £106m fee to prise the Irons’ skipper away.
‘Declan was a top player in the first half, he showed so many things,’ said the Scot after Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Newcastle.
‘Undoubtedly he’s going to be a top player and undoubtedly he’ll be a British transfer record and more whenever he leaves West Ham.’
Asked if his captain’s departure now feels inevitable, Moyes replied: ‘I hope it’s not!
‘A lot’s been said about it and when you see what’s been happening with prices, I think Declan will be blowing that out the water when it comes around.’
Arsenal are believed to have made Rice their top target for the summer transfer window and have plenty of cash to spend, with failed moves for Caicedo and Mykhailo Mudryk giving them plenty of funds to play with.
Although the Gunners brought in Jorginho in a £12m deal from Chelsea on deadline day, he is only seen as a stop-gap and Arteta is keen to make a big play for Rice.
MORE : Mikel Arteta tells Arsenal board he wants to sign Declan Rice AND Moises Caicedo
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