Chelsea sent public Declan Rice transfer warning by West Ham co-owner David Gold

David Gold has sent a strong message to Chelsea that Declan Rice is not for sale at West Ham.

The Blues are believed to be preparing a bid for the England midfielder.

Frank Lampard is a big fan of the 21-year-old and Rice is firmly on Chelsea’s transfer radar.

The west Londoners have spent huge sums already this summer, totalling in excess of £200m.

But they are not finished yet and intend to turn their attention to their former academy player once a goalkeeper is through the door.

Edouard Mendy is closing in on a move to Stamford Bridge from Rennes, however, a return to Chelsea for Rice this summer is no guarantee.

West Ham’s under-fire co-owners David Sullivan and Gold were slammed for letting academy graduate Grady Diangana go to relegation rivals West Brom for just £18m.

Offloading £80m-rated Rice, albeit for a much bigger sum than winger Diangana, is just unthinkable right now.

The summer transfer window shuts on October 5, and if West Ham are to survive the drop this season and progress under David Moyes, they must keep Rice.

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Gold has taken to Twitter on Tuesday lunchtime to put Hammers fans at ease and deliver a warning to London rivals Chelsea.

He posted a picture of Rice fist-pumping in his West Ham kit, and captioned it: “I would like to congratulate Declan on his 100th Premier League appearance for West Ham United – a magnificent achievement.

“I am very proud of him and he epitomises everything that this great football club stands for.”

West Ham fans could not bare to see Rice go ahead of a pivotal run of games which will define their campaign, even at this early stage.

The Hammers face a horror run of games off the back of their opening day 2-0 defeat at home to Newcastle.

A trip to Arsenal is up next in the Premier League on Saturday, followed by games against Wolves, Leicester, Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool.

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