Frustrated West Ham coach David Moyes has lamented Declan Rice’s drawn-out move to Arsenal, saying Friday he “can’t plan anything” until the captain’s transfer is done. A £105 million ($140 million) deal for the England international midfielder was agreed with Arsenal 10 days ago but he is still officially a West Ham player. Rice is not though part of West Ham’s touring squad to Australia for pre-season friendlies against Perth Glory and Tottenham Hotspur. The Premier League season kicks off in a month.
“Until it’s done we can’t plan anything really,” Moyes told reporters in Perth ahead of West Ham’s friendly against Perth Glory on Saturday.
“Everybody knows the situation. We are expecting something to happen.”
Moyes remained coy over possible replacements for the influential Rice, who played a major part in West Ham’s Europa Conference League title win.
“I don’t think we can replace Declan exactly like for like, that is for sure,” he said.
“We will add to the squad. We won’t be giving any thoughts or any names or anything like that.”
With Rice and several other star players absent, West Ham boasts a youthful squad in Perth in the club’s first outing since their European triumph over Fiorentina.
“We’re still buzzing… there are fantastic memories that won’t fade away quickly. But we’ve also moved on and preparing for the next round of games,” said Moyes, whose job was under threat last season with West Ham near the Premier League’s relegation zone.
“We don’t have all of our international players with us due to a late finish and international games so it’s a great opportunity for some young players and the players we have with us now.”
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