Manuel Pellegrini appears to have suggested that he has no idea if Declan Rice will stay at West Ham United this summer, per The Sun.
Rice has enjoyed a breakthrough season under the former Manchester City manager, playing 38 times in all competitions and scoring two goals.
He has also been capped by England, playing against the Czech Republic and Montenegro in Euro 2020 qualifiers in March.
The Sun claim that Manchester United hold an interest in Rice, who signed a new five-year deal just this season.
And Pellegrini has claimed that he has no idea if the club will be able to hold onto the midfielder, who has won the Players’ Player of the Year and the Young Player of the Year award at the club.
He said: “It’s impossible, I cannot know the future.
“He is, of course, a player who has had a brilliant season, who is 20 years old and an English player who has a lot of qualities.
“Maybe some of the big teams, or all of them, will want him.
“But that is one thing – the other is whether he will stay here or he goes, and I cannot say at this moment.”
Rice is the cornerstone of the project West Ham are building.
This is an exciting young, British talent who has come up through the ranks at the club and to sell him this summer would be an insult to fans and to the integrity of the contract he signed.
He only committed to the club in December; to let him leave just five months later would be plain wrong.
United, of course, are interested, with their spies attempting to find the best young talent in Europe.
Rice is certainly that but the Hammers hold all the cards and have no need to push him out the door.
As it is, they should lock that door up and attempt to keep United away; Rice could become the next great West Ham academy graduate, and they cannot throw that away.