Gabriel Agbonlahor expects Declan Rice to leave West Ham this summer if they don’t secure Champions League football, he has told talkSPORT.

The Hammers captain has become a key player for both club and country over the last two years and has been linked with a £100m move to Chelsea and Manchester United in recent windows.

West Ham are yet to be convinced of a sale with nobody matching their valuation and two-and-a-half years remaining on his contract.

talkSPORT pundit, Agbonlahor, believes that if the Hammers fail to secure Champions League football for next season, then regardless of his contract situation Rice will leave in the summer.

“If I’m Declan Rice, I’m seeing my England teammates playing Champions League finals, playing Champions League games at the highest level,” he said. “That’s exactly what he’s going to want to do.

“So West Ham can’t offer him that football, it’s going to be a matter of time. The likes of Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice are starters for England. They’re going to want to be playing in the top competitions.

“So for me, I don’t see Declan Rice signing a new deal, and I feel like, I think the summer they’ll have to sell him.

“Unless they get top four, for me Declan Rice will leave in the summer.”

“If West Ham can’t offer him Champions League football, it’s a matter of time [until Rice leaves].”

“I don’t see him signing a new deal.”

“Unless they get top four, I can see Rice leaving in the summer.”

Gabby Agbonlahor says he can see Declan Rice leaving #WHUFC soon pic.twitter.com/mQRm5c4fci

talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) January 2, 2022

Inevitable

As much as West Ham don’t want to admit it, it is inevitable that Rice leaves the club at some point to play regularly at the top level.

He is already good enough to be playing Champions League football, being described as ‘exceptional‘ by Pep Guardiola, and the fact that they have even been able to keep him for as long as they have is an achievement.

It’s a double-edged sword now though as he will have two years left on his contract in the summer and at that point his value starts to drop.

The Hammers can either choose to sell for a record amount and let him go and fulfil his potential elsewhere or choose to try and hold on to him, possibly affecting his relationship with the club and earning less money from his inevitable departure.

Agbonlahor is right in what he says and it seems as though the time to say goodbye is edging nearer with every passing day.

In other West Ham news, Hammers want to sign ‘unplayable’ £20m player in January – report.

The post talkSPORT pundit predicts ‘exceptional’ West Ham ace ‘will leave in the summer’ appeared first on West Ham Zone.

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