An emotional comment from talisman Declan Rice at the West Ham United awards night proves he is staying next season.
As Hammers fans are well aware, Rice has been incessantly linked with a move away by a media desperate to see him leave West Ham.
That speculation rather predictably ramped up again when West Ham lost their Europa League semi-final in Germany last week thus denying the club the chance of Champions League football.
The likes of The Daily Mail claimed the Europa League exit would now hasten Rice’s departure from West Ham this summer.
The report went over all the usual old ground regarding Rice that is trotted out in almost every tabloid report on his West Ham future.
That’s despite West Ham insiders confidently stating Rice has privately pledged his future to the club for another season at least.
Well now West Ham fans effectively have it from the horse’s mouth.
That’s after an emotional Rice comment at the West Ham awards night proved he is staying next season.
Rice, who won the prestigious Hammer of the Year award for the second time, was paying tribute to retiring skipper Mark Noble when he all but confirmed he intends to be at West Ham next season.
Emotional Declan Rice comment at West Ham awards night proves he is staying next season
The Hammers midfield ace stated it will be tough at West Ham next season without his mentor but he knows he can call on him at any time.
“To be honest, when Nobes was up on stage earlier, I was getting emotional myself and I had to put my head away from the lads because I was starting to cry and getting upset myself,” Rice told whufc.com.
“I can’t describe what he has done for me, from when I walked in at 16 to when I was in the first team, training and games, I can honestly if he wasn’t here I wouldn’t have done as well as I have done, on an off the pitch.
“It’s going to be tough next year without him, but I know he’s only one call away and he’s not big time! It’s been an absolute honour to play with him.”
Obviously if West Ham receive a bid that matches Rice’s £150m valuation then he may not have much choice in the matter.
But until that day comes it seems Rice is determined to stay for one more season at least.