After Chelsea sacked their manager Frank Lampard on Monday, reports emerged that he was the main driving force to sign Declan Rice.

For several transfer windows now, West Ham’s on-field captain Declan Rice has been linked with several other top Premier League clubs for a move away from the London Stadium.

Manchester United and Liverpool have both been rumoured to be interested, however, it is Chelsea who have reportedly led the race to acquire the England international’s signature.

The Blues released Rice from their academy when he was just 14, before he signed for the Hammers. Since then he has progressed to become one of the club’s best players.

Living his whole life in the Capital, he is also best mates with Chelsea midfielder and England teammate Mason Mount, which strengthened transfer rumours linking him to the West London side.

However, according to reports from The Guardian and The Sun, Chelsea’s interest in the 21-year-old is expected to be dropped because it was Lampard who was pushing the club to sign him last summer, and now he is no longer at Chelsea.

West Ham managed to keep Rice for this campaign, but it was expected across our fan base that he would eventually leave the club in the near future.

This would’ve given him a bigger platform to showcase his abilities on the elite stage, in Europe and internationally. Acting as the epitome of everything that West Ham stands for, this would have broken the hearts of supporters.

However, with this new information coming to light, fans can breathe a sigh of relief knowing there is a likely chance that Declan Rice will remain at the club beyond this season.

Given the form that he is in right now, it is imaginable that clubs will still swoop in for Rice this summer. Manchester United are the most probable candidates to put a bid in, but it is hard to see him leaving for Old Trafford.

Chelsea was an ideal club for Rice to take the next step at, despite fans’ displeasure, because he used to play there as an academy player and they are based in London.

Now that a move to Stamford Bridge is potentially off the table, however, hopefully Rice will reject any advances from other clubs. West Ham are incredibly in the race for a European spot this season, and that could be a huge factor in retaining Rice for at least another year.

David Moyes has repeatedly expressed his disapproval to sanction a transfer away for his most prized possession. He sent a fresh reminder to clubs that he is not for sale after Lampard was sacked earlier this week.

“No matter who was the manager at Chelsea, or whoever came in, it would have been the same answer,” he said.

“I said it right at the start and I’m only repeating myself – Bank of England money would be required, and you might even need to add Bank of Scotland on to that as well because he has been so good.”

Declan Rice is an integral member of our squad and the team would not be the same if he was sold. Despite the large amounts of transfer funds we would receive, Rice is arguably an irreplaceable asset.

West Ham need to do everything in their power to hang on to our future club captain for the foreseeable future, and the fans definitely do not want him to see him go.