West Ham manager David Moyes has made it clear that regardless of who the Chelsea boss is, Declan Rice is going nowhere.
The 22-year-old midfielder has once again impressed this season for both club and country, and has helped the Hammers climb to seventh in the Premier League table.
He has constantly been linked with a big-money transfer to a number of elite clubs, in particular his boyhood team Chelsea.
Frank Lampard is known to be a huge fan of the player, and reportedly repeatedly asked the Blues board to sign Rice before he was sacked on Monday.
But when asked whether Lampard’s dismissal may improve his chances of keeping Rice at West Ham, Moyes insisted he never had any intention of letting the player go.
Speaking ahead of his side’s game against Crystal Palace on Tuesday, Moyes said: “No matter who was the manager at Chelsea, or whoever came in, it would have been the same answer.
“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.”
Rice started his career at Chelsea’s academy before being released at the age of 14 and joining West Ham.
And in an interview with Rio Ferdinand last year he admitted he would love to play alongside Blues midfielder and long-time friend Mason Mount one day in a hint he could be interested in a return to Stamford Bridge.
“Yeah I’d love to, I’d love to play with him at club level again,” Rice said.
“One thing we always said as kids is we’d love to play with each other at club and international level
“But obviously you never know because of different paths and things like that.
“Growing up I’ve always been a Chelsea fan. It has just been in the family since my dad in the 80s and 90s. I don’t think there is one person in my family who isn’t a Chelsea fan.”