Despite the transfer window closing a week ago, Declan Rice’s long-term future at West Ham United has been thrown into doubt once again.
Back in early July, the Telegraph’s Matt Law claimed that the 22-year-old England international had rejected two new contract offers from the Irons’ hierarchy in an attempt to see if any interest materialised during the summer.
Most of the Premier League’s top dogs have been mooted with a move for the young midfielder in recent times, namely Champions of Europe Chelsea and Manchester United.
And now, fresh reports suggest that Rice expects this current season will be his last at the London Stadium.
According to 90min, the Hammers star is open to signing an extension on the basis that it includes a release clause that would leave the club powerless if any team did come forward with a bid in the future.
Whilst it remains to be seen whether this campaign will indeed be his final one in the claret and blue but you’d be foolish to think that Rice will be sticking around east London for years to come.
That’s because he continues to thrive on the international stage, having earned his 24th cap this week, whilst his Transfermarkt value has soared to £63m thanks to his phenomenal and consistent performances on the pitch in the Premier League. He is so deserving of a team in the Champions League, and if we’re being honest, that may not be the Hammers in the long run.
But perhaps David Moyes and co shouldn’t sweat about it too much. They could well already have his dream successor right under their nose.
Conor Coventry is thought to be very highly-rated among those at the Irons’ Rush Green training base, particularly the Scotsman. But after the arrival of Alex Kral on loan on deadline day, the young academy gem was allowed to join Peterborough United on loan.
He will now get valuable minutes in the Championship, though if West Ham need him, he can be recalled, so that goes to show just how much Moyes thinks of him.
He has only racked up three senior appearances in the League Cup but the 21-year-old has to be considered the heir to Rice’s throne in the near future. The Hammers faithful have even spotted the similarities in playing style between the pair in the past, so they may well have no problem in him stepping up when the time comes.
Indeed, the Daily Mail’s secret scout claims that the West Ham youth product is “powerful in the challenge” and “is not frightened to surge forward”, which is very much similar to rice.
If Coventry delivers at the Championship outfit this season, then it’ll only bolster his claims to replace the England international in the next few seasons. He could even be granted a first-team spot sooner than this, with club legend Mark Noble set to retire at the end of the season.
Moyes may well already have the Irons’ perfect Rice heir at the club.