Discussing the future of the 22-year-old, Ex insisted the Hammers are wanting to get Rice to commit his future to the club with a new deal.
He said: “I think there’s been sort of preliminary discussions. I think the club have made it clear that they’d like to sort of offer him something to make him higher-paid and obviously extend the contract beyond that, but I don’t feel there’s a rush on either side.
“I think Declan’s happy at the moment with what he has and that he obviously would like a new contract, but probably also potentially wants to keep his options open – if he commits to something now when he doesn’t need to, he’s already got a four-year deal left, and the club do want to get him tied down, but there’s not that massive rush at the moment.
“I think they’ll probably look at it in the summer and sit down again and see where they are, but what I would offer him is a new deal that basically matches whoever the highest-paid earner is at the club. That would be my offering to him.”
Should West Ham cash in on Rice this summer?
Rice won the club’s Player of the Season award last campaign for his efforts in the Premier League which saw the Hammers finish down in 16th place, however, the London side find themselves up in fifth place this season and fighting Chelsea for the fourth spot.
TIF Thoughts on Rice’s future…
Chelsea have been said to be long time admirers of Rice, however, after the sacking of Frank Lampard, it is not known whether the Blues hold the same desire to bring the 22-year-old across to west London. As Ex alluded to, Rice is still under contract at West Ham until 2024 but with his stock rising across Europe with Manchester United also said to be interested, the Hammers will certainly want to secure him to an extended deal.