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Hammers boss Pellegrini confident of Rice deal

PUBLISHED: 14:45 28 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:46 28 September 2018

West Ham United's Declan Rice (pic Dave Thompson/PA)

West Ham United's Declan Rice (pic Dave Thompson/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Manuel Pellegrini is confident Declan Rice will agree a new contract at West Ham.

Highly-rated teenager Rice has turned down West Ham’s initial offer, reported to be worth around £15,000 a week, and his current deal runs out at the end of next season.

Rice has impressed in a deep-lying midfield role for the Hammers this term and will not be short of offers from elsewhere.

But his manager is not concerned that the 19-year-old’s head will be turned.

“Declan I think must try to continue to have good performances, not thinking about more or less money at the moment,” said Pellegrini.

“Nobody at the club is stupid. He’s not a young player anymore and I don’t think he will have any problems with his contract in the future.”

The Hammers host Manchester United on Saturday so Pellegrini will once again cross swords with Jose Mourinho, whom he has come up against many times during his spells in charge at Malaga and Manchester City.

But Pellegrini refused to be drawn on the apparent feud between the United manager and record-buy Paul Pogba.

“It’s very difficult for me to have an opinion when I don’t really know what’s happening inside their club,” he addd.

“Some things the media said are happening within their squad, so I don’t feel able to give an opinion about that.”

Asked what the key to managing big-name players is, Pellegrini replied: “Maybe big names are not so hard to manage because that’s why they are big-name players, not only because they have technical or physical qualities but because they are a complete person, with maturity.

“But, of course, they are young and everyone has a different character and the manager must try to reach the best way to have his commitment to your project, and every manager has a different way.”

Pellegrini confirmed star man Marko Arnautovic is fit to face United after the Austria striker, who has scored three goals so far this season, missed last weekend’s draw with Chelsea due to a knee problem.

However, Javier Hernandez will miss out against his former club as he recovers from illness and Carlos Sanchez has a knee injury.

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