Chelsea and Manchester United have been put on red alert by the latest comments from Declan Rice about winning Premier League and Champions League titles.
Rice has emerged into arguably West Ham’s most influential player over the past few seasons. Despite being 23 years old, he captains them regularly as Mark Noble is now a backup midfielder.
The England international has featured in all but one of the Hammers’ Premier League games this term. His solid displays in the centre of the park have helped David Moyes’ side to compete for a top-four spot yet again.
Rice has also made four appearances in the Europa League and is expecting to feature in the competition’s round of 16 next month.
It’s no surprise that England’s top clubs are keeping tabs on his development, with a view to potentially signing him this summer.
Chelsea have been admirers ever since Frank Lampard’s spell as manager at Stamford Bridge. United, meanwhile, could turn to Rice and partner him with Scott McTominay.
Manchester City have also been touted as potential suitors. Reports suggest Rice may move to the Etihad to make Pep Guardiola’s midfield even stronger.
Declan Rice could follow Grealish’s lead
Rice’s England team-mate Jack Grealish swapped Aston Villa for City in August and the West Ham star could follow in his footsteps by joining a ‘Big Six’ team.
During an interview with Gary Neville on The Overlap podcast, Rice admitted he wants to win every trophy in the game – something he is unlikely to achieve at the London Stadium.
“I have always said it, I don’t want to have a career where I’ve not won anything,” the enforcer said.
“Growing up as a kid I’ve seen all these top players win the trophies, win the Premier League, the Champions League.
Martial turned down Barcelona and Juventus to join Sevilla
Anthony Martial turned down Juventus and Barcelona to sign for Sevilla on loan from Manchester United
“Me as a football fan and a player I want to win the best stuff, I want to win the Premier League, I want to lift that trophy, I want to win the Champions League, I want to win the FA Cups, League Cups, even with England, I want to win it all.
“If you haven’t got that ambition as a footballer why are you playing? They are the best moments of your life winning those trophies.
“I have thought about it before, what would those days be like lifting that trophy? The day of it, the night out after. I definitely want to have those experiences of winning trophies and being the best I can be.”
Midfielder reacts to transfer links
When Neville asked if the transfer speculation impacts his performances, Declan Rice replied: “You constantly read stuff about myself, (Jarrod) Bowen, (Manuel) Lanzini.
“If you’re performing well and there are top clubs around there are always going to be people circling. But I never actually read too much into it or believe it until something happens.
“For me it is just noise and I have got to stay focused on what I have got to do at West Ham, which is perform week in, week out and be the best player because that’s what I want to be.”
Rice was released by Chelsea at the age of 14, and he has now revealed that the same could have happened with the Hammers.
“It was always really tough for me at West Ham because they were actually going to release me as well at 16,” he said.
“No one knows that, I have never spoken about that. It was a 50-50 decision, half the coaches were saying keep him on, half the coaches were saying they were not too sure. I only ever got a two-year scholarship.”