Declan Rice keeping options open as he returns to West Ham pre-season training

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Declan Rice - SHUTTERSTOCK
Declan Rice - SHUTTERSTOCK

Declan Rice has returned to pre-season training at West Ham United and has not made any demands to leave before the end of the current transfer window, despite turning down two contract offers.

Telegraph Sport exclusively revealed last month that Rice has turned down two offers to extend his West Ham contract and wanted to be informed about any bids for him.

The Hammers are yet to make a third contract offer, which would most likely be rejected in any case, and Rice is relaxed about his future and focussed on preparing for the new season.

Despite interest from his former club Chelsea and Manchester United, Rice is preparing to start the season at West Ham and is determined to give everything as they attempt to build on last season’s sixth-placed Premier League finish and compete in the Europa League.

West Ham’s £100 million valuation of Rice has so far put off Chelsea and United from making an official bid this summer, and the two clubs are well aware that price will have to drop in 12 months when the 22-year-old will have two years, plus the option of a third, remaining on his contract.

Whether or not West Ham receive an offer over the final month of the transfer window remains to be seen, but it is likely Chelsea and United would have to sell players first.

Having reached the final of the European Championships with England and played alongside stars who have won Premier League and Champions League titles, Rice wants to compete for trophies in his career.

But he is also respectful of his position at West Ham, where he is on-pitch captain when Mark Noble does not play, and enjoys a close relationship with manager David Moyes.

While Chelsea are still likely to be interested in Rice next summer, Manchester City could also target the midfielder in 12 months when Fernandinho’s contract will have once again expired.

The Brazilian signed a one-year extension to his deal this summer, but, having targeted Jack Grealish and Harry Kane this year, the expectation is City will eventually have to find a replacement.

Rice was one of England’s stand-out performers during the Euros and another good season and good displays in the Europa League will only lead to more interest in him - both at home and abroad.

West Ham have offered Rice significant increases to his wages, but the player would rather keep his options open while he continues to give his all for the club.

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