Hugh Southon: Don’t expect to see Declan Rice at Old Trafford any time soon

The midfielder is better off staying in London

It doesn’t seem to matter how many times Declan Rice resists any sort of overture from Manchester United, true, half true or manufactured, the speculation continues among Hammers fans that he will soon be on his way.

But it seems to me that if we ignore the vagaries of youth, which should be permitted of any teenager, Declan has grown into a bloke who knows how to make up his mind and sticks by it whatever stick may come his way.

Throughout every conversation I have had with his footballing mentor Terry Westley, one thing has come over loud and clear with on one occasion Terry saying: ‘Once Declan makes his mind up that’s it and at that stage of proceedings all he wants to do is learn.’

He insisted in a C and H blog that his England “troubles” would act as an reminder to him that he still has a lot to learn and that he will go away and do so.

It didn’t go down well with everybody of course but once his international decision was made, that was it, just as it was when he decided to commit to a five year West Ham contract.

On three separate occasions now he has made it clear he wants to stay at the club despite all the speculation – because this is a club on the rise whilst Manchester United, seemingly, is in terminal decline.

Much is always made of the fact that were an offer and big wages to be made it would make a huge difference and it would be daft insist otherwise.

But it’s been been made pretty clear to me from key insiders that £70 million was last summer’s price and that it will have risen to between £80m – £90 million next May after he has become an England regular with many caps behind him.

It has been made equally clear that there have been no enquiries or bids from the Old Trafford club or from anywhere else.

Frankly I do not believe Manchester United will be in with any sort of shout anyway given their situation.

But when he says he isn’t interested in Old Trafford, it really is quite easy to understand why and I think we really should get on with our lives and enjoy Declan Rice as a West Ham United player rather than being distracted by media reports.

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