DEFIANT David Moyes expects Declan Rice to play for West Ham next season, warning: Only a steel van of cold, hard cash would tempt us.
West Ham’s owners will have to pay hardball with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United, who are chasing £70m-rated midfielder Rice.
The England star, 21, has been one of the stars of the season as the Hammers secured their Premier League status.
Moyes said: “Declan is under contract.
“He goes on holidays now as far as I know. Hopefully he is selected for England.
“He will be back in pre-season with us in three weeks. That’s as much as I can tell you.
“Rightly so Declan should have attention because he’s such a good player.
“But he’s not going anywhere unless you get one of those steel vans that have the cash in it. You better bring one of them!”
Following the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa, West Ham finished the season on 39 points in 16th place.
It’s their lowest haul since they were relegated from the Prem on 33 points nine years ago.
They managed to stay up thanks to three huge wins – over Chelsea, Norwich and Watford – since Project Restart.
This is the second time that Moyes has successfully worked wonders in a fire-fighting capacity in East London.
Yet the Scot, who took over from Manuel Pellegrini in December, has told his underachieving squad they have to work harder next time.
He’s not going anywhere unless you get one of those steel vans that have the cash in it
Moyes, 57, said: “I feel this one has been a lot tougher.
“There has been a lot of expectation on West Ham this time. There always will be because it is a well-supported, big London club.
“But the expectation is there because there was a lot of money spent over the years and the team should be higher up the league.
“You tend to finish where you deserve to be in the league and we have to make sure we improve on that if we can.
“Also, the teams at the bottom of the league this time made it much more competitive.
“You have to remember the club spent £200m or so. I don’t know the exact figure.
“The club has spent a lot of money here. We will try to add to it. If we cannot we will go with the players we have got.
“I want high standards in all the games. I want a group of players that will give me a level of consistency.
“I can’t put it down to practice on the training ground but I need to drive that home with the younger players improving, I am hoping we can get more towards that as we go on.
“What we have seen has given us real encouragement. The players need a break.
“Then they’ll come back and we will take it up a notch. They need time to reflect, then come back.”