West Ham set to double Declan Rice wages after fending off Chelsea interest

West Ham are ready to offer Declan Rice a bumper new £120,000-a-week contract after keeping the midfielder out of Chelsea’s clutches this summer.

The Blues were reportedly desperate to sign Rice, 21, in the latest transfer window, with Frank Lampard identifying him as a key transfer target at Stamford Bridge.

Nevertheless, West Ham were not interested in offloading the England youngster for anything less than their eye-watering £73million valuation.

And after spending close to £250million on new recruits over the summer, Chelsea could not afford to meet their asking price before Monday’s transfer deadline.

According to The Sun, West Ham are now set to double Rice’s wages having kept him at the London Stadium for at least another three months.

The player is two years into his five-and-a-half-year contract, which saw him jump from £3,000-a-week to £60,000-a-week.

But now the Hammers are prepared to hand him a stunning £120,000-a-week deal to make him one of their best-paid players.

Felipe Anderson was on the same wage before sealing a loan move to Porto this week, while Andriy Yarmolenko reportedly rakes in £100,000 per week.

Co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold believe Rice is deserving of a new package that recognises him as David Moyes’ main man at the London Stadium.

It would also serve to protect his transfer value amid interest from Chelsea, who are likely to come back in with another offer either in the January window or next summer.

Should their pursuit of Rice prove unsuccessful again, however, Lampard is understood to have pinpointed Lille star Boubakary Soumare as a cheaper alternative.

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Soumare, 21, is widely considered one of the most promising young midfielders in European football after bursting onto the scene in France.

He has also been linked with Premier League rivals Manchester United and Arsenal, as well as Inter Milan and Napoli.

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