West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has admitted that he is uncertain about midfielder Declan Rice’s future, the Mirror reports.
The 20-year-old star has enjoyed a top season from the heart of midfield, helping West Ham to their third consecutive win and a 10th-place finish in the league.
With the season now over, teams will be looking to bolster their squads in the summer in preparation for the new campaign.
And Declan Rice will be on a number of clubs’ wish lists, having been linked with various top teams including Manchester United and Chelsea.
Pellegrini understands it will be hard to keep the academy graduate and recognises there will be a number of clubs after him. Speaking after the win against Watford, Pellegrini said:
It’s impossible, I cannot know the future. He is, of course, a player who has had a brilliant season, who is 20 years old and an English player who has a lot of qualities.
Maybe some of the big teams, or all of them, will want him. But that is one thing – the other is whether he will stay here or he goes, and I cannot say at this moment.
The Englishman picked up both the Players’ Player of the Year and Young Hammer of the Year award this season, while also making his first senior England appearance, playing in both Euro 2020 qualifiers against Montenegro and the Czech Republic.
With his future up in the air, the youngster will be considering his options as he looks to play in a European competition, something West Ham failed to qualify for this year.
Why Rice must stay at West Ham this summer
Declan Rice has to be sure that he is playing week in, week out at this stage in his career. That would not be guaranteed at the likes of Manchester City or United.
With regular game time, Rice will flourish at international level too. With the Euros around the corner, he does not want to jeopardise his place in Gareth Southgate’s plans.
Help the club grow
The club have European ambitions and Rice could be integral to that if he stays put. There’s no reason why the club cannot push for that seventh spot or higher next season.
Legend status available to him
He could very quickly become a club legend at West Ham if he stays put. The fans adore him and everything is set up for him to dominate in the middle of the park for years to come.