There’s a lot to like about what’s happening at Newcastle United, but that doesn’t appear to be enough to tempt one Premier League star to move to St. James’ Park.
Eddie Howe’s side weren’t quite a surprise package in 2022/23, but the manager, his players, staff and the board must still have been delighted that they managed to earn themselves a Champions League berth so quickly.
There seems to be a real seriousness about the Saudi Public Investment Fund’s project on Tyneside, and Howe is certainly playing his part.
The Magpies were wonderful to watch throughout the last campaign, and playing in such a free-flowing outfit would be a joy for any player.
Though not for West Ham captain, Declan Rice, it would seem.
The 24-year-old, whom The Telegraph suggest could be transferred for around the £92m mark, isn’t interested in moving out of London.
“Newcastle’s chances of getting him are very low,” transfer expert, Graeme Bailey, said on The Fully Loaded Transfer Show.
“There is an interest there and they have registered it. He’s never been a player who has had an interest in going to Newcastle, he hasn’t shown it.
“Newcastle have had a chat, but he is a home boy. He doesn’t want to leave London, it’s a straight battle between Arsenal and Chelsea and he wants to go to Arsenal particularly.”
Rice has certainly been West Ham’s talisman over the past few seasons, and the fact that he wouldn’t even appear to be considering Newcastle is a blow.
Fortunately for Howe and his backroom staff, they appear to be completely adept at knowing just what characters will fit seamlessly into their set up, and Rice’s apparent loss will be someone else’s gain.