By Noel Whelan

18th May, 2022 | 9:41am

West Ham news: Expert issues verdict on Declan Rice penning '£500k-a-week' deal - 'we all know'

Declan Rice wants to play at the “top level” and would not remain at West Ham even if offered “£500,000-a-week”, according to Noel Whelan.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted no Irons supporter should begrudge the 23-year-old if he decides to move on in the near future.

According to talkSPORT‘s Jim White (11 May), West Ham have offered Rice a new eight-year contract worth £200,000-a-week.

He went on to claim the Irons midfielder has shown “no inclinations” to sign the proposal – with the “magic figure” for his departure still standing at £150million.

Whelan suggested an offer of “over £100million” could prove hard to turn down for West Ham.

“We all know that he wants to play at the highest level,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

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“That’s been obvious ever since the Euros last year, and he’s just grown in stature ever since.

“He’s got the captain’s armband, he’s putting in top-class performances, and he’s leaving everything out on the pitch for West Ham.

“For that reason, I don’t think any fan should begrudge him leaving the club. He’s been a massive part of this success, but he will have aspirations – and the money he will bring in will go a very long way.

“It’s not about money for him. He wants to win trophies and play at the top level. I don’t think he’d sign at West Ham even for £500,000-a-week.

“He wants something to look back on and be proud of in his career.

I think if someone actually came in with an offer which gets over that £100million mark, it’ll be hard to turn down.”

In other news, pundit shares “crazy” West Ham verdict as Craig Dawson controversy analysed.