Joe Cole rules European giants out of race to sign Declan Rice

Almost every club in world football will be in the race to sign West Ham’s Declan Rice.

That is the view of former midfielder Joe Cole, who believes Rice will have his pick of several clubs once the time comes for him to leave the Hammers.

Rice, 24, currently has 18 months left on his contract, and even though the Londoners retain the option to trigger an additional year, he is expected to sign for a top club in the summer.

All of the Premier League’s big hitters have been linked since Rice emerged as one of Europe’s most impressive defensive midfielders, and according to Cole, who spoke to BT Sport, as quoted by the Daily Mail, the 24-year-old will be wanted here and abroad, with perhaps the exception of Real Madrid.

“Every club in Europe will be looking at Declan because of what he brings to the team,” Cole said.

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“The only club I’d probably rule out is maybe Real Madrid because of [Toni] Kroos, [Luka] Modric, [Federico] Valverde, [Aurelien] Tchouameni and [Eduardo] Camavinga… but every other club needs a midfielder and Rice is as good as anyone.”

Where West Ham’s number 41 ends up is anyone’s guess at the moment, but with the Premier League outspending every other league in the world, it seems only fitting that a player, who is set to become one of the most expensive, maintains his standing within England’s top-flight.

Since making his Hammers debut back in 2017, Rice, who also has 39 international caps to his name, has gone on to feature in 222 matches, in all competitions, directly contributing to 23 goals along the way.


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