Rice is the top target for Arsenal next summer and the Gunners are reportedly ready to smash their transfer record of £72m, which they paid for Nicolas Pepe in 2019.
Despite his team sitting 15th in the Premier League table, Rice has been a consistent performer this term and continues to attract interest from several top sides.
Over the last couple of years, he has been consistently linked with an exit and finally looks set to get his move away, as confirmed by West Ham manager David Moyes.
“We honestly hope he [Rice] stays,” Moyes was quoted saying by The Athletic.
“We’d love for him to be a West Ham player, but we are aware that might not be the case at the end of the season, so that’s one of the scenarios around planning.
“There are plans that we have Dec here, but we’re also fully aware there is a good chance we won’t have him.”
With West Ham all but set to avoid relegation, they will be in no rush to part ways with their most-prized asset as they will be keen to trigger a bidding war for Rice.
Chelsea are interested in reuniting with the 24-year-old, who spent the vast majority of his youth career in the Blues’ academy.
However, a lack of Champions League qualification could put them at a considerable disadvantage in the race to sign one of English football’s most-coveted midfielders.
In what is increasingly looking like his final season at the London Stadium, Rice will be keen to deliver silverware for his current employers with a Conference League semi-final second leg against AZ Alkmaar to come on Thursday.
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