Sky Sports pundit makes West Ham transfer claim over Declan Rice amid Chelsea links

West Ham United know they are going to lose Declan Rice in the transfer window amid prolonged interest from Chelsea, according to Patrice Evra.

Rice has excelled at the heart of West Ham’s midfield this season, while also establishing himself as one of Gareth Southgate’s preferred players in the England set-up.

The 21-year-old has seemingly replaced Mark Noble in holding midfield this campaign and has also been made captain of the Hammers by manager David Moyes.

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However, despite his growing in stature at West Ham, a transfer away from east London is looking increasingly likely, with several clubs linked.

Chelsea are one of those, with reporting that Rice is Frank Lampard’s top priority for the next arrival at Stamford Bridge, and former Manchester United left-back Evra sees that as a likely move in the future.

“Moyes has given him the captaincy, so for me, it symbols the future of West Ham. It’s not easy to put Mark Noble on the bench,” he said on Sky Sports Super Sunday ahead of West Ham’s 1-0 win over Sheffield United on Sunday.

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“They know they are going to lose him, because many big clubs are interested in Declan, but right now, he’s the man of West Ham. I’m not surprised.

“I knew this player would never allow his head to get bigger because he’s so focused and so humble, and you can see him smiling – he’s happy, what a joy. I’m very pleased for him.”

Rice came through Chelsea’s academy before he was released as a youngster and made his way to West Ham.

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