West Ham's 4-0 loss at the hands of Manchester City was made worse for Hammers fans after Pep Guardiola praised Declan Rice's individual performance.
With his contract set to run out in the summer of 2020, West Ham have been keen to tie Rice down to a new contract but their advances have thus far been rebuffed. The uncertainty over the youngster's future has alerted the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham and now Manchester City.
Despite West Ham's poor performance against City on Saturday, Rice was a stand-out performer for Manuel Pellegrini's side and Guardiola was quick to praise the Hammers' midfielder.
The Catalonian manager said: "Declan Rice is an excellent young player and he will be a top English player for many years to come," as reported by Football London.
Here are some of their reactions of social media:
They're all openly trying to turn his head. Blatantly breaking the rules. Makes you sick. And because of the money, no-one in the governing bodies do anything about it. Or at worst, apply a fine that these clubs can pay out of petty cash.— Kevin Phillips (@KPKPKP13) November 24, 2018
These fans seem to have accepted that Rice will be poached in January...
£25million bid will be accepted in Janaury for sure— Simon W (@cooper1827) November 24, 2018
Watch city bid for him in January— Joe Halford (@joe90halford) November 24, 2018
But not for us 😩— ongarhammer (@MehlmanMel) November 24, 2018
However, this particular Hammers fan was more defiant:
Keep your mits off him Pep!— Alexander Hall (@alexhallwhufc) November 25, 2018
Rice is currently earning a mere £3,000-a-week at West Ham and every performance like the one against Manchester City further justifies his demands for higher wages.
West Ham will struggle to replace a player as versatile as Rice and the Irons' fans will be hoping that the club can strike a deal to secure his future in east London.
Following their 4-0 loss to Manchester City, Pellegrini's side face a resurgent Newcastle side away from home in the Premier League. West Ham are currently underperforming given the quality of their squad and are in 13th position in the league.