Sullivan: We did not want to sell Rice

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West Ham’s joint-chair David Sullivan has been speaking to the club’s official website about Declan Rice’s departure, saying the Hammers did not want to let their captain leave this summer.

“I am sorry to see Declan leave us, but I believe that everyone at West Ham United should be very proud of the part we have played in his journey from the Academy of Football at Chadwell Heath to becoming the most valuable young player in English football.

​“I would like to make it clear to our supporters that we did not want to sell Declan. We wanted to build our team around him and made a series of improved, long-term contract offers to secure his future. However, once Declan made it clear that he wished to move on and seek a new challenge, the Club felt it would not be right to stand in his way, acting in the best interests of West Ham United.

​“He leaves with the sincere thanks, respect and love of everyone here, having earned his place in history alongside the great Bobby Moore and Billy Bonds as the only players to have captained West Ham United to a major trophy. More than that, he has always given absolutely everything for the football club throughout his time with us.​

​“Declan will forever hold a special place in the hearts of Hammers fans and everyone here at the Club. We wish him well for the future and he will always be an inspiration and an example to any young player coming through our Academy.”

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