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West Ham owner wants new boss to turn Irish international Rice into 'a strong England defender'

David Gold says he sees the 19-year-old Ireland international as ‘the future of the England team’.

Rice making his senior debut for Ireland back in March.
Rice making his senior debut for Ireland back in March.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Updated at 15.03

WEST HAM CO-OWNER David Gold has been on TalkSPORT discussing his ideas for the future of the club with Jim White this morning.

With new manager Manuel Pellegrini recently appointed after a disappointing campaign under Slaven Bilic and, subsequently, David Moyes, the businessman claimed that the Hammers will spend more this summer than they have in any other window.

The topic of young defender Declan Rice also came up during his conversation with White.

I’m looking forward to the new manager turning Declan Rice into a strong England defender for the future of the England team,” said Gold.

19-year-old Rice has been one of the few positives at West Ham over the past year, and the London-born teenager even made the step up from U21 to senior international football earlier this year — producing a man-of-the-match display in the Republic of Ireland’s friendly defeat to Turkey in March.

And although Rice is technically still eligible to represent his country of birth as he hasn’t yet lined out for the Boys in Green in a competitive game, could it be possible that Gold simply isn’t aware of his international allegiance?

Originally published at 11.55am

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