West Ham United owners David Sullivan and David Gold have renewed confidence in their ability to hang on to Declan Rice.
Last month The Telegraph claimed the duo feared they could be forced to sell Rice in the next transfer window.
The report stated interest from the midfielder’s former club Chelsea, a planned squad overhaul and the financial impact of the global health crisis were making Rice’s sale somewhat inevitable.
Manchester United have also been heavily linked with the midfield enforcer.
Report claimed three factors would force Rice sale
“While Rice would easily fetch the most money for West Ham, sources believe the club will listen to offers for virtually anybody in the next window,” The Telegraph claimed.
“The planned overhaul is part of Moyes’ desire to put together a younger, hungrier squad and he is prepared to do more shopping in the Championship following the January signing of Jarrod Bowen from Hull City.”
But West Ham fans will be delighted by an apparent change of stance from Sullivan and Gold.
According to fellow Hammers website Claret & Hugh the owners have moved to reassure fans that Rice will be ‘the last person they would consider selling’.
Owners say Rice is the last player West Ham would sell
Claret & Hugh has a direct line to a ‘senior source’ believed to be Sullivan and Gold themselves.
And the owners have now dismissed the prospect of selling Rice, who is signed up to a long-term deal until 2024.
“Speaking exclusively to Claret and Hugh by e-mail our own highly placed insider dismissed that to be the case out of hand,” Claret & Hugh states.
“He said: “Despite a poor season and poor cash flow caused by the virus Rice would be the last player we would sell to balance the books.”
Have owners been emboldened by prospect of Prem return?
The owners are perhaps emboldened by the now very real prospect of a return to Premier League action in June – thus avoiding a damaging £30-40million rebate of TV money.
Project Restart faces another crucial meeting on Thursday with a date for the resumption on the agenda.
A date of June 12th is described as flexible by the Premier League. Many sources believe June 19th is a more likely restart date.