DAVID MOYES HAS insisted West Ham will not panic over Declan Rice’s future.
Rice is understood to have rejected West Ham’s third offer of a new contract, amid continued negotiations over a deal at the London Stadium club.
The 23-year-old is contracted until 2024, with West Ham holding the option of extending that deal by another 12 months.
Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea have tracked Rice consistently, with the Premier League’s top sides still eyeing a transfer.
But West Ham boss Moyes insisted the east Londoners have more pressing matters on their hands, given Rice’s contract situation.
When asked for his opinion on Rice rejecting West Ham’s latest offer, Moyes replied: “We certainly didn’t say that. Unless you’ve got who said it then I can’t say it. We’ve not answered it really have we.
“I’ve said it and I think we have said what we think. We like Dec and he’s got three and a half years to go on his contract so I don’t think there is any big panic.
“We’ve got three and a half years so it isn’t the biggest priority. We’ve got other priorities, trying to add to the squad and get other positions in.
“Maybe he just wants more money. People do turn down contracts. It is not unusual for players at clubs to turn down contracts, maybe it is a negotiation tactic.”
West Ham lost out 1-0 at Chelsea with Christian Pulisic netting a last-minute winner to stun the Hammers.
Lukasz Fabianski saved Jorginho’s penalty with four minutes to play, but West Ham could not hold on after seeing Craig Dawson sent off for fouling Romelu Lukaku to concede the penalty.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel confirmed that Toni Rudiger will leave the Blues this summer, with Real Madrid poised to wrap up a deal for the Germany defender.
When asked if the fact even Chelsea cannot retain Rudiger’s services just shows that football’s financial pressures are growing tougher than ever, Moyes replied: “The difference is that he, Rudiger, is out of contract. We’ve got three and a half years to go. That is the difference.
“I sold Wayne Rooney and Everton got better. It doesn’t always mean that things don’t happen. We’ve said before that we’ve got no intention of selling so I don’t know why you keep asking.”
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A much-changed West Ham so nearly held on for a creditable point, with Moyes protecting a clutch of tired players for next week’s Europa League semi-final first leg at Eintracht Frankfurt.
Moyes was pleased with his players’ attitude and organisation, but admitted he thought Dawson could have dealt with the danger ahead of conceding the penalty.
Moyes said: “We had hung in for long periods in the game. The penalty went in our favour with the save, and we just had to see out the last five, 10 minutes with 10 men.
“The defeat’s a little bit undeserved, but we didn’t defend well enough in those last four, five minutes. So that’s it.
“I thought Craig he played ever so well, but I still think he should have got to the ball and cleared it with his left foot.
“But he didn’t and he gave the referee a decision to make, and today it went against us.”
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