But the 20-year-old took to social media to send a message to fans that would seem to suggest he is staying put.
Commenting on a post from the club’s official website, he said: “See you all soon Hammers”.
He followed the comment with two crossed Hammer emojis.
This is exactly the kind of thing that West Ham fans love Rice for. Rather than keeping them in the dark or messing them around, he is open and honest, and you get the distinct impression that he is a fan first and a West Ham player second. That sort of integrity will always play well with supporters, but during a summer in which an exit is being mooted, it will go over twice as well. Obviously, Rice hasn’t confirmed that he is staying at the club with this post, but given the character of the lad and the manner in which he conducts himself, it would be a massive shock for him to make a statement like this and then go back on it. He is sincere and clearly adores the club, and that kind of dedication is what makes him such a likeable figure. Throw into the mix some serious ability for somebody so young, and you have the makings of a West Ham legend.