West Ham must give 'next captain' Declan Rice a new deal to ward off Chelsea interest, says Hammers legend Tony Cottee

TONY COTTEE wants West Ham to target two January signings — boss David Moyes and star player Declan Rice.

The Hammers legend believes this transfer window should be about building on the momentum of an impressive first half of the season for the club.

Manager Moyes, 57, has lifted his side into the Premier League top ten, but only has six months left on his contract.

Midfielder Rice, 21, still has three years on his deal but is the club captain-in-waiting and fancied by bigger teams such as Chelsea.

Former striker Cottee, 55, said: “As far as I’m concerned the only two signings to be bothered about are David Moyes and Declan.

“I’m pretty sure that even now, with his elevated status, Dec will not be earning the same kind of money as the top men in the squad.

“But he’s their most valuable player and in time will become the next captain after Mark Noble.

“I know he signed a five-year deal not so long ago but get him tied down and up there with the bigger earners and make him a bedrock of the future team.

“We all know other teams are interested. West Ham should be acting to secure Declan, so he is not allowed to drift into the last two years of his contract and possibly leave on a free transfer.”

Moyes is determined to rid the team of its flaky image and has made them more robust — a key ingredient, believes Cottee.


He said: “I assume David is going to try to sign players during this transfer window on three or four-year deals.

“As a player, I would find it a bit unsettling signing for a coach who could be gone by the summer.

“It’s baffling why something hasn’t been done already to get Moyes tied down to a new deal.

“Moyes is building a team. I like what he is doing, he has proven to be a good fit.

“West Ham should be moving slowly and steadily in one direction, upwards. The yo-yoing needs to stop.

“By the end of the 2020s, West Ham needs to be established as a top-ten club.

“I hope the board can see the positive effect Moyes is having on this.”

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