West Ham United may be forced to cash in on Declan Rice if the midfielder has a good World Cup.
That is the opinion of journalist Pete O’Rourke, who was speaking to This is Futbol about the latest news at the London Stadium.
Rice’s current contract with West Ham is set to expire in the summer of 2024, meaning that the Irons’ last chance of getting a substantial transfer fee for the midfielder may come in January.
Journalist Paul Brown revealed last month to GIVEMESPORT that 23-year-old, who has been described as “sensational” by Toby Cudworth, is eager to leave the club and the situation is unlikely to change in the near future.
And O’Rourke believes that the January window may be the time to “strike a deal” if Rice comes back to David Moyes’ squad on the back of an impressive World Cup.
“His price tag is going to correlate with his contract situation at West Ham.
“If he fails to sign this new contract, West Ham will maybe be forced to cash in on him off the back of a good World Cup.
“That could be the time to strike a deal and get the highest price possible, because they don’t really want to risk Rice running down his contract and potentially leaving on a free transfer in the next 18 months.”
TIF Thoughts on O’Rourke’s comments…
Whilst it may be sensible for West Ham to negotiate a price for Rice’s exit in the new year, his departure will no doubt come as a huge blow to fans of the east London club.
The 34-time England international is an imposing figure all-round in the middle of the park, as shown by the fact he ranks in the top 5% of midfielders across Europe’s top five leagues and European competition for pass completion rate (89.7%) and interceptions (1.86) per 90 minutes over the last 365 days, according to FBref.
However, with just over 18 months left to run on the London-born star’s contract, we think that West Ham will be better off selling Rice for a decent fee in the new year, rather than letting him go for a cut-price fee next season, or even for free at the expiry of his contract.