Declan Rice: Man United and Chelsea target 'leaning towards being open to summer transfer'

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice in action for England

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice is interested in leaving the club this summer, according to journalist Dean Jones.

What did Jones say about Rice's future?

Rice played a pivotal role in West Ham's impressive Premier League campaign in 2020/21, starting 32 games for the team as they booked their place in next year's Europa League.

Despite this, he could be willing to leave the Hammers in the coming months, with Jones claiming that an associate of Rice's believes that the 22-year-old may bid farewell to east London during the current transfer window.

Speaking on The Football Terrace, Jones said: "I spoke to someone over the weekend who knows Declan pretty well, and I just said to him: ‘where’s his head at?’ I’ve always been of the belief that Declan Rice just won’t leave West Ham right now.

"And he said ‘actually you’d be surprised.’ He said he’s leaning towards being very open to leaving if the right offer comes along.

"He's willing to leave London. If the right offer's there, if you can meet his terms, if you've got the right project, he's got his eyes open to what can happen in the future."

To hear everything that Jones had to say on Rice, watch the video below...

Which clubs have been linked with Rice?

Rice has been linked with a move to Chelsea, who are reportedly the favourites to land the player that they previously had on their books before releasing him from their academy when he was a teenager.

However, Jones' comments about Rice being willing to move out of London could be music to Manchester United's ears as well. They have also been linked with trying to tempt the holding midfielder up to Old Trafford.

How has Rice fared so far at the Euros?

Rice is currently representing England at this summer's Euros and he has played every minute of the first two group games.

In the side's opening match against Croatia he delivered a typically assured display, winning two aerial duels and making two clearances on his way to a WhoScored game rating of 6.62.

However, he was ineffective in England's crunch clash with Scotland on Friday, receiving a WhoScored rating of 6.33 as Gareth Southgate's side were held to a 0-0 draw at Wembley.

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Would West Ham be losing their best player if Rice decided to go?

He may have had a mixed tournament so far with England, but Rice is still highly-rated by those who know him well. Last month, West Ham's assistant manager Kevin Nolan declared that Rice would be England's "most important player" this summer, and that might still be the case as the tournament progresses.

Nolan also claimed that he felt that West Ham could have made the top four in 2020/21 had Rice not missed six games through injury towards the end of the season. The Irons lost three times while Rice was on the sidelines.

This indicates that Rice has been a huge part of West Ham's success over the last 12 months, and has held things together well in the middle of the park.

With this in mind, if he were to leave, David Moyes would have a huge void to fill at the heart of the midfield as Rice will be very difficult to replace.

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