Declan Rice is a wanted man this summer
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England star Declan Rice has put Manchester United and Chelsea on alert after it emerged he has turned down two new contract offers from West Ham United.
And Rice is expected to reject any more imminent attempts to extend his West Ham deal, as he waits to see whether United or Chelsea firm up their interest in him with a bid.
United are big admirers of Rice, who gets on well with his England team-mate Harry Maguire, and could try to tempt West Ham by including Jesse Lingard as part of a bid.
Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel is understood to be a fan of the player the club released as a 14-year-old and Manchester City have also shown an interest in Rice. But, having re-signed Fernandinho on a one-year contract, the Premier League champions would be more likely to make a bid next summer.
West Ham value Rice at around £100million, but the midfielder would want to be informed of any offers the club receive for him and would most likely be disappointed if bids in the region of £60m were turned down given he did not cost the Hammers anything.
Rice is currently on England duty at the European Championships and has been one of the star performers of manager Gareth Southgate’s team.
His displays in the centre of midfield, the latest of which came against Germany at Wembley, have strengthened the belief that Rice could comfortably play for a Champions League club.
Rice has impressed at Euro 2020
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Rice saw his close friend Mason Mount win the Champions League with Chelsea last season and he is currently in an England squad full of title winners, both in the Premier League and abroad.
Even 17-year-old Jude Bellingham has played in the Champions League for Borussia Dortmund and Rice is keen to test himself at the highest level in club football as quickly as possible and realise his main ambition of winning silverware.
Rice is currently outside the top five earners at West Ham and is one of the lowest earners in Southgate’s England squad.
West Ham have twice offered him significant wage increases, but the salary they would be able to pay him is still much lower than he could earn elsewhere.
And the offers are also believed to have been less than what some of the previous highest paid players at West Ham have earned, although money is not thought to be the main reason for Rice rejecting the club’s offers.
Despite the fact West Ham enjoyed an excellent season and qualified for the Europa League, with Rice often wearing the captain’s armband, there are concerns over how much money manager David Moyes will have to improve the squad.
And with the added burden of having to try to combine a Premier League season with a European campaign, West Ham’s squad could be stretched to its limits.
Jesse Lingard could be a potential make-weight in Man Utd's move for Rice
Rice’s current contract has three years, plus the option of an extra 12 months to run, but West Ham will be mindful that his value will start to drop when he gets closer to the final two years of his deal.
Former Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard recommended Rice to the Blues last summer, but the club spent the majority of their transfer budget on Kai Havertz and Timo Werner.
Chelsea are in the market for a striker this summer, but Tuchel would also like to add a new midfielder, with Rice among his top targets, and a right-sided player to his squad.
United are on the verge of signing Rice’s England team-mate Jadon Sancho, but are also interested in the West Ham star and could offer Lingard as part of a bid.
Lingard spent six successful months on loan at West Ham, but the club could struggle to afford a permanent deal for the winger which may encourage United to try to offer the 28-year-old as part of a bid for Rice.
Rice is currently focused on trying to help England into the semi-finals of the European Championships by beating Ukraine in Rome on Saturday night.
And his reputation among the top clubs in the Premier League and Europe will only increase the further England progress and the more Rice impresses.