By Noel Whelan

24th Jul, 2021 | 7:55pm

West Ham may 'throw the towel in' over Rice as 'mega' offer incoming

Noel Whelan has admitted West Ham may have to “just cash in” on Declan Rice amid plans of a mega-money new contract.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker insisted the Irons should not keep the midfielder against his will.

As revealed by Football Insider on Thursday (July 22nd), West Ham are preparing a blockbuster contract offer for Rice to ward off suitors this summer.

A West Ham source told this site the 22-year-old had his “head turned” while on England duty.

The club hope a “mega” package will keep the midfielder happy amid interest from Chelsea and Manchester United.

However, Whelan admitted the Hammers may have to sell up if he has his heart set on going.

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Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “You try everything possible in your means to keep your best players and your international stars.

“Especially in that position, he’s one of the best in that role that he plays. Much like Kalvin (Phillips) for Leeds.

“There’s not many of that kind of player out there that, at that age, can command that respect in that kind of defensive midfield role.

“He definitely can. We saw that in the Euros, especially with how good he was in the final.

“He took the game by the scruff of the neck, showed great quality driving forward, little nutmegs as well. So he showed everybody an array of talent that he brings to the side.

“You can offer him the new contract. Huge money. Sometimes it’s about the player and their aspirations and what they need from their career. If the money’s right, there’s always a deal to be done.

“To hold on to him is a hell of a job. Very much like Jack Grealish and Harry Kane. They’re not the only team that’s in this position with their star players.

“If a player doesn’t want to be at the club, then you’ve got to capitalise on that.

If his head’s been turned and he wants the big games, the big stages, like Chelsea, Liverpool or Manchester United, sometimes you’ve got to just throw the white towel in.

“Just cash in for as much as you possible can to go out there and get replacements.

“It’s not ideal for West Ham. You’d love to keep him, of course you would, but sometimes it’s very difficult to keep these kind of players.

In other news, Football Insider pundit claims West Ham have their own Messi and Ronaldo in their ranks.