Exclusive – Declan Rice’s representatives have dismissed suggestions that he could be a transfer target for Newcastle’s new owners.
The 22-year-old has been in fine form for West Ham, guiding the club to victory in their first two Europa League group games against Dinamo Zagreb and Rapid Wien while helping maintain a solid start to their Premier League campaign.
He has also become a key figure in England’s midfield and played a starring role for Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions as they reached the European Championship final this past summer.
Newcastle, meanwhile, have been taken over by a consortium made up of PCP Capital Partners, David and Simon Reuben, and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – who individually own an 80% stake in the club – which conceivably makes them the richest football club in the world.
The long-awaited completion of the deal not only ends Mike Ashley’s tumultuous 14-year reign but signals the dawning of a brand new era on Tyneside – one that is likely to involve heavy spending on and off the pitch with the aim of becoming a European powerhouse.
90min has learned that the Magpies have already been inundated with offers from player agents, but sources have now indicated that any link to Rice is wide of the mark.
Indeed, any future move for West Ham’s on-field captain would be geared towards winning trophies and competing in the Champions League rather than a bumper payday, which is partly why Manchester United and Manchester City remain so keen on striking a deal in 2022.
Rice has publicly stated that he’s happy at West Ham, telling the media towards the end of September: “Everyone knows how I feel about West Ham and how I feel about playing under the manager and what it’s like playing with the group of players I’m playing with.
“I feel you can see in my performances nothing’s up, nothing’s concerning me. I’m playing with a smile on my face, I’m going out there, I’m leading the team.”
Silly good from #WHUFC‘s captain ? https://t.co/POkGowT4Da
— Toby Cudworth (@Toby_Cudworth) September 17, 2021
Despite that, it’s 90min‘s understanding that Rice’s representatives want to assess his situation next summer before making a decision about where his long-term future lies.
West Ham understandably want to extend Rice’s contract – which currently runs until the end of the 2023/24 season – as a reward for his continued brilliance, but negotiations are not straightforward because the club are not prepared to entertain the prospect of including a release clause.
The Hammers may need to make a decision one way or another next summer when Rice’s market value potentially starts to drop.Internet Explorer Channel Network