There has been a private acceptance at West Ham for some time that Rice will be sold at the end of the season, but Moyes’s comments are his clearest public acknowledgement yet that the midfielder’s departure is imminent.
The Hammers have put a British transfer record £120million price-tag on Rice’s head, with Arsenal considered firm favourites to sign the 24-year-old.
“We honestly hope Dec stays, that is the biggest thing,” Moyes said, ahead of Sunday’s Premier League trip to Brentford.
“We would love him to be a West Ham player but we are aware that might not be the case. That is one of the scenarios.
“Our plans are to have Dec here but we are also fully aware there is a good chance that we don’t have him.”
Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool all have long-standing interest in Rice, though it remains to be seen how many of those clubs rival Arsenal this summer, given West Ham’s willingness to play hardball over a fee.
Manchester City could yet enter the race as Pep Guardiola is keen to bolster his midfield and the champions at this stage look likely to miss out on signing Jude Bellingham to Real Madrid.