Declan Rice is one of the most sought after footballers in the Premier League after establishing himself as a regular for England and becoming West Ham’s captain.
lan Rice has told reporters “you only get one career” after declaring his interest to play in the Champions League in the near future – dropping his biggest transfer hint yet.
Rice, 23, is one of England’s most important players and has started all three of their World Cup games to date. The likes of Chelsea and Manchester United are interested in signing the West Ham captain, who has 18 months left on his existing deal.
West Ham can extend Rice’s contract by a further 12 months if they wish. Manager David Moyes has previously suggested it would take an offer in excess of £150million to sign the midfielder, but he remains determined to play in the Champions League. But it now seems Rice will be looking for a big-money move in 2023.
Rice was asked If he wanted to play in Europe’s premier competition at a press conference on Thursday. “Yeah – one hundred per cent I want to play in the Champions League,” replied the Englishman. “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 [with England at the World Cup in Qatar], who are playing Champions League and competing for big trophies.
“You only get one career and at the end of it you want to look back at what you’ve won and the biggest games you’ve played in. I really want to do that.”
West Ham are desperate to keep hold of Rice but, earlier this year, the midfielder turned down the offer of a new eight-year contract worth £83million. Chelsea have been long-term suitors but every big Premier League club covets Rice’s signature.
United would break the bank for Rice but need to ensure they qualify for Champions League football. And even though he already has Rodri and Kalvin Phillips, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is a long-term admirer. Liverpool would also be in the hunt but might not have the financial muscle of the two Manchester clubs.
Rice is more likely to be playing in the Championship than the Champions League if he stays at West Ham. Moyes’ side are just a point above the relegation zone and their results need to improve in the new year if they’re to remain a Premier League club.