Declan Rice has been urged to leave West Ham for the sake of his career by Danny Murphy.
Murphy added that the 24-year-old England midfielder would be an ‘automatic starter’ for Premier League leaders Arsenal.
With just one year left on his contract in east London, Rice is set to be a man in demand, with the Hammers knowing they may reluctantly have to part ways with him to avoid losing him on a free transfer.
talkSPORT understands he may cost a whopping £120million, with boss David Moyes saying last month he will only leave for a British record fee.
It is believed that the England international is keen on a summer switch to Premier League leaders Arsenal.
Manchester United are also in the running having had a £100m bid rejected for his services last year.
And Chelsea, who released Rice when he was 14, are also in the mix as they look to bring in a long-term successor to N’Golo Kante.
Commenting on the saga in his column for the Daily Mail, Murphy said: “Declan Rice has to leave West Ham.
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“Ideally he would have gone last summer because it’s been hard for him to maintain his best form in a team that doesn’t keep the ball or boss games as well as others.
“He’s 100 per cent ready to move to the next level and at 24 won’t want to wait any longer for Champions League football.
“Arsenal would be a great option and I think he’d be an automatic starter.
“The lure of Chelsea is also strong, having grown up supporting the club and playing in their academy.”
Former West Ham, United and Tottenham striker Teddy Sheringham has echoed Murphy’s view, insiting he would instantly improve Arsenal.
He told talkSPORT: “When you’re talking about top players, you put them up against other top players.
“The complete midfield player would be able to defend, tackle, run forward, but score goals as well.
“If you add a couple of goals to Declan’s game, not a couple but six or seven, with what he’s got at the moment, you’re taking about an absolute world beater of a player.
“He can go anywhere, wherever he goes he’s going to make that team a better team.
“Maybe Casemiro is in that role at Manchester United so perhaps they don’t need him, but he would definitely make Arsenal a better team.
“I don’t like to say it but they’re already good enough this season, and I don’t want to see Declan go there because he will make them a better team. He could walk into any team.”