Declan Rice’s future at West Ham is considered to be “a matter of price”, with Manuel Pellegrini suggesting that a deal could be done for a player being linked with the likes of Manchester City.
At 20 years of age, the Hammers academy product is enjoying a breakthrough campaign.
He does have more than 50 Premier League appearances to his name and made a competitive debut back in 2017, but has only recently come to the fore.
A positional switch into a midfield berth has earned Rice plenty of plaudits and allowed him to switch international allegiance from the Republic of Ireland to England.
He now has two senior caps with the Three Lions to his name and is being tipped for a bright future with club and country.
Which club he represents long term does, however, remain to be seen.
It has been suggested that Rice would be an ideal successor to the ageing Fernandinho at the Etihad Stadium, and former City boss Pellegrini has done little to curb the rumours heading towards the summer.
Quizzed on whether a transfer could be put in place at some stage, the West Ham manager said: “It is just a matter of price, if it is a good deal for the club, player and he improves his career then we can do it. But I don’t know about anything there.”
While admitting that every player has a price, Pellegrini is hoping to see Rice continue to flourish at the London Stadium.
He believes there is still plenty of potential to be unlocked in a player who has taken a meteoric rise to prominence in his stride.
Pellegrini added: “He must continue to do what he is doing now. He knows he must improve but that is why he is always listening and improving. When he plays ore games, he will keep on improving.
“Declan doesn’t feel any pressure in the national squad or here. He tries to improve every week. That’s very good for him.”
Rice is not the only West Ham player seeing questions asked of their future.
Samir Nasri, who penned a short-term deal with the club in January, is yet to be offered an extension past the end of the season.
Pellegrini concedes no contract talks are being held at present, with the 31-year-old Frenchman among those who are going to have be patient when it comes to new deals.
The Chilean coach added: “We are not talking in this moment about the future, same as with Nasri or any other players. He has a calf injury so we will see if he is available Saturday.”
West Ham are set to play host to Everton this weekend, with Premier League action resuming after the international break.