West Ham captain Declan Rice has once again admitted that he wants to be playing for a club in the Champions League.
The England international has turned down a number of offers to extend his contract with the Hammers and, when asked about his ambitions, Rice laid out his future plans.
“100% I want to play in the Champions League. For the last two or three years, I’ve been saying that. I’ve been playing consistently well for my club and I feel like I really want to keep pushing. I see my friends here who are playing Champions League and for big trophies. You only get one career and at the end, you want to look back at what you’ve won and the biggest games you’ve played in.”
Unsurprisingly, fans on Twitter have interpreted Rice’s comments to mean that he wants to leave the London Stadium at the end of the season:
We all knew it was coming. Unfortunately @WestHam haven’t built around him well enough. The days of the completely loyal footballer are long gone. Noble was the last of this breed. Good luck @_DeclanRice, it’s been an absolute pleasure.
— Mark Deal 父 (@Deal770M) December 1, 2022
@_DeclanRice will go with my blessing, he owes us nothing, a total gent of a man, given us some unbelievable moments & he’ll be sorely missed, nonetheless he has to set his sights high, he deserves to win things, where he ends up is HIS choice, I personally wish him well ⚒️👍🏼
— Jim – HammerMan ⚒ (@hugepunt1) December 1, 2022
We have enjoyed having him , I say , good luck to him in his future career.. he has been a great servant of the club but no one player is bigger then the club.. we will survive with or without him ⚒⚒⚒
— John (@Johngld50) December 1, 2022
As long its not Chelsea or Man U or even Liverpool. Happy with Man C
— Chris Shepherd (@shepherd_1972) December 1, 2022
We can’t hold him back. The strongest teams for CL are City and Liverpool in the premiership, but I think somewhere like Real Madrid would elevate him to a bigger world stage. I will be disappointed wherever he goes, but I can only ever wish him the very best.
— Paul Lewis (@PaulLew20651321) December 1, 2022
We missed the opportunity to keep him when we could have finished 4th, but finished 6th & didn’t build on that in the subsequent 2 windows, leading us to unsuccessfully try & integrate half a new first team this season. In life sometimes get 1 opportunity and we didn’t take it.
— Martin Blow (@Blowmonkey1) December 1, 2022
The fact the 23-year-old has publicly expressed his intentions will certainly pique the interest of potential suitors. Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool have all been linked with Rice, but West Ham won’t let him leave on the cheap.
As journalist Fabrizio Romano has pointed out, the Irons are still in a strong position to demand a sizeable transfer fee. You’d hope that any offer for the midfielder that is below £100m would be rejected by the club.