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West Ham defender’s contract standoff alerts Palace and Bournemouth

Both Crystal Palace and Bournemouth are said to be considering making bids for West Ham defender Declan Rice who is locked in a contract stand-off with the East London side.

Rice was one of the brightest stars in a struggling West Ham side last season, but the arrival of Issa Diop for a club record fee is likely to see Rice pushed down the pecking order, and with his immediate future uncertain, the 19-year old Irishman has refused to sign a new deal with the club.

That has alerted several of West Ham’s Premier League rivals to his potential availability according to The Sun, with Crystal Palace and Bournemouth said to be at the head of the queue.

A former Chelsea youth player, Rice moved to West Ham  as a 15-year old, and progressed through their ranks before making his debut against Burnley on the last day of the 2016 – 2017 season.

Born in London, Rice is eligible to play for Ireland for his grandparents, and has 2 full caps for his adopted country.

Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.