David Moyes delivers Declan Rice transfer latest in Perth
West Ham boss David Moyes answered questions about Declan Rice’s seemingly imminent move to Arsenal in his press conference ahead of a clash with Perth Glory in Western Australia.
PERTH — West Ham boss David Moyes stayed coy on the future of star midfielder Declan Rice when quizzed by reporters at his press conference in Perth on Friday.
The England international who captained the Hammers last season is not in the touring squad for pre-season friendlies against Perth Glory (July 15) and Tottenham Hotspur (July 18), left home as reports suggest he will complete an imminent exit to Arsenal for a record fee of £105m ($200m).
Asked about plans to replace Rice, Moyes admitted the club won’t be able to secure a like-for-like replacement but
suggested he ‘knows nothing’ about the latest on the deal.
“I don’t think we can replace Declan exactly like for like, that is for sure. We will add to the squad… we won’t be giving any thoughts or any names or anything like that,” he said.
“You seem to know more about it than me. You’re getting the news quicker than I’m getting it so I’m happy to listen to what you people (journalists) are saying.
“Until it’s done, we can’t plan anything really. So, we will wait and see what happens. Everybody knows the situation; we are expecting something to happen, but you said it was done two weeks ago and it’s still not done so…”
According to the latest reports from the BBC, Rice’s transfer to the Gunners is expected to be concluded on Friday (UK time) following hold-ups that have left fans poring through social media for any update for the best part of a fortnight.
Rice’s absence in Australia paves the way for young players to make a play for first team football with the Europa Conference League champions this season.
Two members of the club’s triumphant FA Youth Cup side are in Perth – George Earthy and Divin Mubama – with the former looking likely to feature in the engine room that used to be Rice’s domain, having shown real promise following his emergence from the club’s academy.
“I don’t think travelling around the world would be the best way to prepare for pre-season, I don’t think anyone would admit to that but I think its important that Premier League football clubs who are viewed all over the world now, it is such a global league to watch – everybody wants to see the players,” Moyes explained.
“We are looking forward to the games; we don’t have all of our international players with us due to a late finish and international games, so it’s a great opportunity for some young players and the players we have with us now.”