has been urged to reject transfers to and by former defender Anton Ferdinand.
The highly-rated England international looks destined to leave the London Stadium this summer as David Moyes looks to cash in on the midfielder before his contract expires in 2024.
, with Arsenal leading the race for his signature, while the 24-year-old continues to be linked with a move to Chelsea, United and Liverpool.
Stamford Bridge was initially thought to be his preferred destination, having grown up as a Blues fan and having been a part of their academy for eight years before joining the Irons.
The likelihood of that move happening has lessened dramatically this season as Rice desires to play in the Champions League and Chelsea are languishing down in 11th in the table, unable to qualify for any form of European competition.
This will be music to the ears of Ferdinand who, while resigned to losing Rice, is desperate not to see the player switch East London for West London, saying on the : ‘I think this will be it if I’m being really honest.
‘It kills me to say it because he’s such a fantastic player and a massive part of our team. But I think for him and us as a club, it’s time. He’s given everything he can to the football club.
‘If we do win the [Europa] Conference League that’s a perfect sign off. But even if we don’t, for what he’s done for the club he deserves to go to pastures new now, to go and try and win the Premier League which he deserves with that talent.
‘I’ve got to say one thing though: You can’t go Chelsea! That’s the only shirt that I don’t want to see you in! None of us West Ham fans want to see him in that blue Chelsea shirt.’
, United will also go in for Rice this summer, but Ferdinand, brother of Red Devils legend Rio Ferdinand, thinks Arsenal would be the ‘perfect’ fit for him.
He added: ‘If [Thomas] Partey isn’t there, you can play him a No.6, with Granit Xhaka at No.8. But if Partey’s about, you play Declan as the 8. Declan can drive with the ball, he can pass and he’s got goals in him. He really is top.
‘The reason why I don’t see him at United is that they’re still in transition. It’s no guarantee he’ll go there and they’ll start winning. At Arsenal he’ll have a better chance. He’ll get them closer to [Manchester] City fact.
‘United’s priority is a No.9. So Rio, stop saying Declan to Manchester cause it ain’t happening!’
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