Report: Declan Rice rejected Southampton for West Ham

Declan Rice of West Ham during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester City at London Stadium on August 10, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.

West Ham United allegedly beat Southampton to Declan Rice.

Declan Rice of West Ham during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester City at London Stadium on August 10, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.

According to the Daily Mail, West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice snubbed interest from Fulham and Southampton to join the Hammers.

Rice, 20, is in the England squad once again, this time to face Bulgaria and Kosovo in EURO 2020 qualifiers, having continued to impress for West Ham.

His decision to switch his international allegiance from Ireland to England has made headlines, but just how close did West Ham come to missing out on him too?

Rice was in the youth ranks at Chelsea before being released at the age of just 14, and whilst that hurt him, it didn't take long for him to receive interest.

It's claimed that Fulham and Southampton both wanted Rice, but he picked a move to West Ham – and it's really paid off for them.

Manuel Pellegrini has turned Rice into a very effective defensive midfielder, and he looks set for a huge future having already proven himself in the Premier League at just 20.

Declan Rice trains during an England Media Access day at St Georges Park on September 02, 2019 in Burton-upon-Trent, England.

The Sun even noted earlier this year that Manchester City wanted Rice, but it would take at least £50million to prise him away from the London Stadium; a major fee for a player they got for free as a kid.

Fulham and Southampton will rue missing out on such a talent, but West Ham will be delighted that he picked them and made himself a Hammers favourite, especially given Southampton's reputation for developing young players.

Declan Rice of West Ham United during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester City at London Stadium on August 10, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.

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