West Ham tipped to seal 'deal of all deals' as Gareth Bale cited - pundit
West Ham may find it difficult to rebuild even if they seal the “deal of all deals” when Declan Rice departs, according to Alex McLeish.
The former Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, cited Tottenham’s sale of Gareth Bale in 2013.
According to The Athletic (25 April), West Ham are determined to keep Rice for another year after he turned down a third contract offer.
The report claims the Hammers will look to sell the midfielder for £150million in the summer of 2023 – with two more years left to run on his deal.
As quoted by the Mirror (25 April), David Moyes reassured fans about life after Rice – insisting Everton “got better” after selling Wayne Rooney under his stewardship.
But McLeish warned selling the midfielder could “annihilate” the club’s plans.
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“I saw some comments from Moyes,” he told Football Insider‘s Russell Edge.
“He said that West Ham don’t need to panic and don’t need to sell him.
“He’s so integral to their success. Those comments will be very heartening indeed for the West Ham fans.
“When the time is right, and it might not be at this very moment, they could get the deal of all deals.
“The price tag is all very well and good, £150million – often teams think they’ll be able to build a whole new side.
“But to lose a player like Rice just annihilates all of your plans – we saw that with Gareth Bale at Tottenham.
“They went out and signed five or six players but weren’t the same side without him.”
Tottenham raked in a reported world-record £86million fee for Bale in 2013.
They signed Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen, Etienne Capoue, Vlad Chiriches, and Nacer Chadli – but only finished sixth in the Premier League.