Alan Irvine says West Ham are not thinking about life without Declan Rice

Alan Irvine insists West Ham are not concerned about finding a replacement for Declan Rice because they have no intention of selling him.

England midfielder Rice has been linked with a move to Chelsea all summer, although it is understood no enquiries have been made as yet.

West Ham have maintained the 21-year-old is not for sale, although a mega-money bid is likely to force the issue with funds tight at the London Stadium.

That would raise the prospect of the Hammers scrambling around for a replacement with the transfer deadline looming.

But assistant boss Irvine said: “We haven’t been looking to replace him.

“We have been looking for players but we’ve not been looking for a replacement for Declan because we don’t have any intention of selling him.

“But, as you say, every player in the world has his price, it would certainly be an extremely difficult situation for us if anything was to happen.

“But without having all the information I still don’t think that will happen.”

Irvine is set to be on the touchline again when West Ham travel to Leicester on Sunday, with manager David Moyes continuing to self-isolate.

David Moyes File Photo
David Moyes File Photo

The Hammers can hand a debut to their new signing, right-back Vladimír Coufal, who arrived this week from Slavia Prague.

“Vladimir has been playing, he has had a lot of games and just played in European competition as well. He is certainly ready physically,” added Irvine.

“It is not as if we’re bringing a player in who hasn’t been training, or hasn’t been playing. He is as ready as he will be in terms of match preparation.

“Obviously a decision has to be made in terms of whether he is ready to jump straight into our team and I’ll speak to David about that.”