London, June 8 () West Ham chairman David Sullivan has confirmed that England midfielder Declan Rice is set to leave the club this summer.
Sullivan made his assertion on TalkSport in the wake of West Ham’s 2-1 triumph over Fiorentina in the final of UEFA Europa Conference League on Wednesday.
When asked about his future after the match, 24-year-old Rice, who has played 245 times for West Ham, had said he “loved the club.”
“My focus, and it has been since the World Cup, is to win this trophy and keep West Ham in the Premier League. I genuinely don’t know what’s happening at the minute. That is my honest answer,” added Rice, who explained he had “two years left on my contract and ultimately it is up to the people above.”
Sullivan told a slightly different story, saying he believed the midfielder had played his last game for the club, a Xinhua report said.
“I think it has to be. We promised him he could go. He set his heart on going and in due course he has to get on and we have to get a replacement,” said Sullivan.
“It is not something we wanted to happen. We offered him 200,000 British pounds (250,000 U.S. dollars) a week 18 months ago and he turned it down. You can’t keep a player who doesn’t want to be there,” insisted the West Ham chairman.
Arsenal, Manchester United and Bayern Munich are thought to be keen on signing the player with 41 England caps, with any fee expected to be in the region of 120 million British pounds (150 million U.S. dollars), which would allow West Ham to make three or four important summer signings to strengthen their squad.