Rice’s links to Chelsea & Man Utd no surprise to Moyes but West Ham have no plans to sell

Talk of Declan Rice attracting admiring glances from Chelsea and Manchester United comes as no surprise to David Moyes, but the West Ham boss has no intention of sanctioning a sale.

A versatile England international is expected to generate plenty of transfer talk heading towards the next window.

A big-money move to Old Trafford has been mooted in the past for the 21-year-old, while rumours regarding a return to west London for the former Stamford Bridge academy star are now starting to gather pace.

Moyes can appreciate why a player with such potential would be of interest to leading sides across the Premier League.

With West Ham currently stuck in a relegation battle, it may be that matters are taken out of their hands.

There is, however, an understandable desire on the part of all of those at London Stadium to retain both their top-flight status and the services of prized assets heading towards 2020-21.

Moyes told talkSPORT of the speculation surrounding Rice: “I think he will be wanted anyway (if West Ham avoid relegation). I keep reading it and keep getting told it.

“He’s a West Ham player and I want him to be a West Ham player for a long time and our intention is to stay in the Premier League.

“Nothing is crossing my mind about being in another league except the Premier League. We have to win our games and perform better than we have done.”

West Ham returned to action after a coronavirus-enforced break with a 2-0 defeat at home to Wolves, with Rice asked to operate at centre-half in that contest.

He broke through in that position, but has flourished as a holding midfielder in more recent times.

Moyes considers the youngster to be the best option he has in both roles, with there no immediate desire for Rice to nail down any one position.

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The Hammers boss added: “I think Declan could arguably be my best centre-half and my best midfield player so we have to try and see what we’ve got and who is fit (against Tottenham on Tuesday) and use him the best we can.

“We know he will give us something else as a midfield player but he showed he was defensively sound when he goes into the back line as well.

“It’s really good for Declan that he’s improved so much and can play both positions. Going forward for himself and for us it’s a great thing to have, the ability to use him at the back and as a midfield player.”