Wide-ranging reports suggest that Rice has turned down several long-term contract extension proposals from the Hammers. He does not want to find himself in a similar position to Harry Kane, who has twice struggled to force his way out of Tottenham due to a six-year deal he signed in 2018.
Despite that, Rice was keen to remain at West Ham for at least another campaign last summer. Had he made himself available, Chelsea would likely have led the race to complete a huge transfer.
“We’ve proved that we can play in big European games and our fans and our stadium have shown we can handle those big European nights, and that’s what we want more of,” he said in May, suggesting he could remain in East London for a few more seasons.
Chelsea are known to retain an interest in signing Rice, and a transfer could be prompted if N’Golo Kante departs at the end of the season. The Frenchman is out of contract next June and is expected to miss the next four months with a hamstring injury.