Former Hammers player and manager Harry Redknapp has made a huge claim about Declan Rice’s West Ham future.

Rice has established himself as one of – if not THE – best midfielders in Europe at West Ham.

He is one of the first names on England’s team sheet and the rest of the country has slowly but surely woken up to what West Ham fans have been saying from day one about their talisman.

Top players make headlines and that is certainly the case for West Ham star Rice.

West Ham United v Leeds United: The Emirates FA Cup Third Round
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There has been an incessant stream of stories linking Rice with a move away from West Ham for years now.

West Ham fans are well used to it. But that doesn’t mean we are any less sick and tired of hearing the same speculation over and over again.

One week it’s Chelsea, the next week it’s Manchester City. And when Man United’s midfield have a bad game – which is pretty frequently right now – the inevitable Rice links emerge.

There’s even a smattering of Liverpool every now and again too.

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David Moyes made it clear after the last transfer window closed that clubs had missed out on a £100 million bargain with Rice as his valuation of the midfielder increases with every brilliant display for West Ham and England.

Moyes was raving about Rice again in his pre-match press conference ahead of Leeds, saying he can get even better still.

Someone who knows all about West Ham losing their top academy stars to so-called “bigger” clubs is Harry Redknapp.

The man who led the Hammers to their highest ever Premier League finish of fifth, oversaw the emergence of West Ham’s modern golden generation produced by Tony Carr.

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But West Ham lost the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole, Glenn Johnson and Jermain Defoe to rivals.

Now it is Rice’s turn to be linked away by the press.

There is a big difference this time around, though. West Ham are not only seriously challenging the established elite on the pitch by pushing for a top four spot again and making the last 16 of the Europa League. But they are also challenging off it with 60,000 – soon to be 66,000 – fans packing out the London Stadium for home games and Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky on board as the club’s second biggest stakeholder.

Speaking about speculation linking Rice with a move away from West Ham, Redknapp told the club’s website the argument he needs to join a ‘big club’ simply does not stand up.

West Ham United v Leeds United: The Emirates FA Cup Third Round
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Harry Redknapp makes huge claim about Declan Rice’s West Ham future

“Declan Rice has been terrific for them and they still have Mark Noble in and around the place as well which is so important in terms of spirit,” Redknapp told

“I know there’s been some noise about Declan’s future but I think he will stay.

“It makes me laugh when people talk about him going to a bigger club. West Ham are a big club.

“Look at that stadium. Every week it’s sold out, that shows you how big West Ham are – and getting bigger all the time.”

Well said that man. Now if only we could get Dec to pen that new deal. Sealing the top four spot should help in that regard.

More West Ham news:

Unreal video from West Ham training ahead of Leeds has fans beaming.

Reported West Ham target scoops hugely embarrassing award.

Sky Sports reports suggest Spurs are tapping up prime West Ham target.

West Ham make plans to splash out £10m from windfall.

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