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Has David Moyes hinted for the first time he may have to sell West Ham star man Declan Rice in summer rebuild?

Has Hammers boss David Moyes hinted for the first time he may have to sell West Ham star man Declan Rice in his summer rebuild?

Moyes faces a huge task in the summer transfer window to not only improve his shallow squad but replace a host of players that are out of contract, retiring or not in his plans.

The fact West Ham failed to sign a single player in January is cause for concern given they may need between 10-12 new faces as part of a summer rebuild Moyes has stated is looming large on the horizon.

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Central to the brilliant West Ham team Moyes has built over the last two years has been talismanic midfielder Rice.

The Hammers ace snubbed several new contract offers last summer (The Telegraph).

And he has recently declared on several occasions that he wants to be regularly playing in the Champions League and winning all the top trophies.

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Rice also described his desire to do that as “urgent” in a further statement that will feel ominous for West Ham fans.

West Ham can still achieve both this season of course – even if that will prove extremely difficult with this over-stretched squad.

Moyes has always insisted anyone wanting to take Rice from West Ham will have to pay “Bank of England and Bank of Scotland money” to do so.

That won’t change as West Ham have plenty of length left in the star’s contract to command it.

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But the Hammers boss spoke to The Evening Standard about his transfer plans this week.

And Moyes appeared to hint for the first time he may have to sell West Ham star man Rice in his big summer rebuild.

The Scot admitted he ‘may have to make some unpopular decisions’ in order to come back next season with a bigger and better West Ham squad.

He also said he sees a changing of the guard “in certain areas” of the team.

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Has David Moyes hinted for the first time he may have to sell West Ham star man Declan Rice in summer rebuild?

“My own worry now is how to keep going for the next few years, how I build on it, how I keep growing it,” Moyes told The Evening Standard.

“On and off the pitch, things will be broken which we’ll have to try and fix. Certainly, Mark Noble leaving will be one of them. We’ve got a fight on and I need to find a way of getting us stronger for next year.

“I see new players, I see a stronger squad, I see a change of the guard in some places because of what’s happening at the club. But that will be normal. We do have to make changes in the summer, we do need to look at how to move forward again.

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“I don’t want to go stale, and when I see things dropping away, I have to make sure I step up. We can’t do too much about it at the moment, but we have to make sure we keep squeezing the last bit out of them that we can.

“In football management, you have to make some unpopular decisions at times, that’s part of the job. But, look, I’ll always try to make the right decisions for West Ham.”

Rice leaving is, unfortunately, starting to feel more like an inevitability rather than a possibility at West Ham.

Some Hammers fans felt the lack of true ambition shown by the club in January to pay the money required to get the players Moyes wanted effectively signed Rice’s goodbye card.

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Plenty of other clubs have to sell their best players from time to time but re-invest wisely to soften the blow.

Aston Villa and Leicester are probably the two best recent examples of that.

Rice will never be replaced at West Ham like for like. But the Hammers must ensure that if and when he does leave, there is a clear plan in place for his successors.

And it sounds like Moyes is starting to accept that time could be coming this summer.

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