By Michael Brown

29th Jul, 2020 | 7:27am

Exclusive: Brown makes big Declan Rice transfer claim after West Ham position made clear

Michael Brown believes there will be a host of clubs chasing Declan Rice this summer, despite reports West Ham slapping an £80million price tag on him.

The former Leeds midfielder, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, stressed it would be great for his parent club to keep him but warned he will be being watched closely.

Football Insider reported on 21 July that West Ham are seeking £80m for the 21-year-old, with Chelsea ready to swoop.

“Even at that price, there’s got to be people who want Declan Rice, we’ve seen that already,” Brown told Football Insider.

“He’s at a good age and has a strong head. It helps if the team are winning – since West Ham have been getting results he’s started to look good.

“His teammates as well, Michael Antonio has been incredible, they look like the West Ham of old and it seems like they’ve turned a corner.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“If they can keep Declan Rice that would be great but ultimately there will be big clubs watching him.”

Chelsea are not the only club that are believed to be in the race to prise the England international away from the London Stadium.

Football Insider revealed on 13 July that Manchester United have made Rice one of their top summer targets, after impressing Alex Ferguson.

Rice broke into the West Ham team in his late teens playing in central defence but has operated almost exclusively in a midfield anchorman role in the last two seasons.

He played every minute during the 2019-20 Premier League campaign, helping the Hammers finish 16th.

In other West Ham news: McAvennie reacts as Rangers set sights on West Ham attacker.

PLUS: Subscribe for free to our brilliant new YouTube channel for daily videos, interviews with our top pundits and special guests, and all the latest insight into the club you love.