Moyes says 'good chance' skipper Rice leaves West Ham

AFP

West Ham United are hopeful of keeping midfielder Declan Rice but there is "a good chance" he could leave the Premier League side at the end of the season, manager David Moyes said amid reports linking the England international with top sides.

Skipper Rice, 24, whose contract expires at the end of the campaign, has long been on the radar of the Premier League's big sides. Speculation has intensified in recent months about a big-money move to Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester United.

"We honestly hope Dec stays, that's the biggest thing. We would love for him to be a West Ham player, but we're aware that might not be the case at the end of the season," Moyes told reporters ahead of Sunday's league trip to Brentford.

"So that's one of the scenarios around planning. There are plans that we have Dec here but we're also fully aware there is a good chance we won't have him."

West Ham are 15th in the standings with 37 points and are aiming to reach a first European final since 1976 after beating Dutch side AZ Alkmaar in the opening leg of their Conference League semi-final.

Moyes said the club, who beat United 1-0 last weekend, are fully focused on staying in the top-flight and that planning for next season had been put on the back-burner.

"A lot of it will only start to go into place once we've realised we have kept our Premier League place," Moyes said.

"We're watching a lot of players, a lot of games, doing a lot of scouting, but the truth is the focus has been on staying in the Premier League."

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