Premier League leaders Arsenal are reportedly planning to sign West Ham star Declan Rice.
The 24-year-old midfielder is the youngest captain in the Premier League and a vital player for The Hammers. In recent seasons he has helped the East London side reach the Europa League quarter-final and record their highest top-flight finish in the Premier League era.
Rice is a vital member of the England set up and has been capped on 39 occasions at international level. In that time, Rice has helped the Three Lions reach the European Championship final for the first time in their history, while also playing a key role in last year’s World Cup in Qatar before falling short in the quarter-final.
The West Ham captain is believed to be Mikel Arteta’s top transfer target and it is likely he could become Arsenal’s all-time record signing, exceeding the record previously set by Nicolas Pepe, if a deal goes through.
Rice has rejected three contract offers to extend his contract at West Ham and the player has openly expressed his desire to play Champions League football in the future.
But how long does Rice have left on his existing deal with The Hammers and is he likely to join London rivals Arsenal in the near future? Here is everything you need to know.
When does Declan Rice’s West Ham contract expire?
Declan Rice joined West Ham as a schoolboy at the age of 14 and made his full first team debut four years later in 2017.
Rice immediately established himself as a first team regular at a young age and became an integral player for the London club.
By December 2018 he had already surpassed 50 appearances for the club and the manager at the time Manuel Pellegrini rewarded him with a new long term contract until summer 2024.
What is Declan Rice’s weekly wage at West Ham?
Declan Rice agreed to extend his contract in 2018 in a deal which saw his wages shoot up from £3,000 a week to around £60,000 a week.
However, despite being the club captain he is not the biggest earner at the club and Brazilian international Lucas Paqueta is reportedly the biggest earner with a wage of around £150,000 per week.
Is Declan Rice likely to leave West Ham?
West Ham have struggled for form in the Premier League this season and currently find themselves in the relegation places with just four wins from their opening 19 games.
The Hammers are desperate to turn their fortunes around; it is therefore thought to be unlikely that they will part with one of their star players. However, a transfer is believed to be likely during the summer transfer window and Rice has spoken openly about his desire to play Champions League football during his career.
Ahead of the World Cup last 16 tie against Senegal, Rice said: “I want to play in the Champions League. For the last two or three years, I’ve been saying that. I’ve been playing consistently well for my club and I feel like I really want to keep pushing. I see my friends here who are playing Champions League and for big trophies.”
Rice added: “You only get one career and at the end you want to look back at what you’ve won and the biggest games that you’ve played in.”
Rice has turned down three contract offers from West Ham. He would have become the highest paid player in history if he accepted their most recent offer.
Who are the favourites to sign Declan Rice?
Arsenal are viewed as the frontrunners to sign Declan Rice in the summer transfer window. Mikel Arteta’s side are looking to add strength to their midfield and it is likely they will need extra depth to cope with the demands of a Champions League return if they are to qualify this season.
Chelsea have also been linked with a move for the player. Rice is close friends with fellow midfielder Mason Mount and played alongside him in the youth set up from 2006 until 2014.