Declan Rice’s response to being handed Man Utd gift says everything

Leeds United v Manchester United in pictures

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Declan Rice rejected a Manchester United mug offered to him during the Brits on Saturday, insisting the gift was ‘not for’ him in what could provide a hint as to his thoughts about a transfer to Old Trafford. The West Ham skipper has been heavily linked with a move away from east London in the summer with the Red Devils reportedly joining Chelsea and Arsenal in the race for his signature.

Rice has been rumoured with a move away from the London Stadium for some time after a series of impressive performances for West Ham. He has also established himself as a key man within the England set-up and started every game for the Three Lions at the World Cup in Qatar.

The midfielder is believed to have indicated he would like to leave the Hammers and turned down a new eight-year deal last May. His current contract expires in 2024 and while the Irons have the option to extend it for another 12 months they may need to sell him soon in order to maximise his potential value.

United have been among the clubs suggested as Erik ten Hag looks to add to his midfield options. However, it appears Rice himself is less keen on any deal after rejecting the offer of a Red Devils mug at the BRIT Awards – which may hint that Arsenal or Chelsea could appeal more. 

The 24-year-old was at the event to present an award for the best Hip Hop, Grime and Rap Act and was involved in an intriguing conversation with presenter Amelia Dimoldenberg about his future.

Rice was offered a number of souvenirs including a packet of Monster Munch and a chicken nugget before the presenter offered up a United mug. The gift instantly triggered a shake of the head from the England star before he replied: “Not for me, that.” The pair then displayed their affection for Rice’s current employers with a rendition of “Up the Hammers” each.

Meanwhile, former Chelsea star Joe Cole has weighed in on his future, suggesting he may have his eyes on elsewhere as he targets the opportunity to fight for trophies.

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“I’ve been in Rice’s shoes,” Cole told BT Sport. “You’re fighting, you’re fighting and you’re fighting for your club and you want to win trophies and then you speak to your mates in the England squad and it can be frustrating.

“He’s a great character so he will always fight for his team. He loves West Ham but the clock is ticking on his career and he wants to play at the highest level and to compete for trophies.

“But he’s a committed, passionate lad who will be fighting tooth-and-nail for West Ham until the summer when he’ll sit down with his representatives, his family and the club and try to come to a solution that’s suitable for everyone.”

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