West Ham boss David Moyes believes Chelsea transfer target Declan Rice will be captain at the London Stadium in the future. Rice has been heavily linked with a move to the Blues in the upcoming transfer window, with Frank Lampard believed to be keen on playing him as a centre-back.
Rice could be playing against his future club tonight depending on how the summer transfer window goes.
West Ham will host Chelsea tonight in a must-win game for their Premier League survival chances.
The Hammers are currently level on points with 18th placed Bournemouth, and need to start picking up points to escape the drop.
It has been heavily speculated that regardless of West Ham’s fortunes this season, Rice will be playing elsewhere next season.
Chelsea are believed to be keen on testing the waters with a £45million bid once the window opens, with Lampard eyeing him as the new leader of his defence.
Rice, who made a name for himself in the Premier League playing in midfield, is a natural centre-back, and Moyes recently admitted he would probably be West Ham’s best defender.
And with Lampard keen to continue rebuilding his side after the signings of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner, the defence is believed to be his next area of improvement.
However, Moyes is keen to ensure that Rice stays in East London for the foreseeable future.
Speaking on Tuesday, the manager predicted that the youngster will go on to be West Ham’s captain in the future.
Moyes insisted that unless he is told from Hammers hierarchy that Rice has to be sold, he’ll be building his team around him.
He said: “If you think of the great players that have been at West Ham over the last 125 years, [they’ve had] some stunning players.
“Declan Rice is not anywhere close to that level yet.
“So Declan has got a lot of improvement to do to meet that level but he is a very, very good player.
“I have had the chance to see a lot of players at the top level, their qualities, Declan has many, many of them.
“My idea is to build West Ham around Declan Rice.
“I see Declan Rice as a future captain of West Ham, for many reasons I am looking forward to working with Declan and unless I am told different or things change he is a very big part of the club to me.”