West Ham and England midfielder Declan Rice has dropped a major hint about where his future lies after admitting the importance of Champions League football to him during a press conference while on international duty.
Rice is a key part of the England squad that will face Senegal in the round of 16 on Sunday, but while his future on the international stage is clear, his future domestically is quite the opposite. Currently at West Ham, his Irons side sit 15th in the Premier League, while Rice has so far refused to sign a new deal at the London Stadium, with his current contract due to expire in 2025.
So far, the Hammers have resisted the urge to part ways with the midfielder, for what was expected to be a figure in excess of £100m, but that is set to change this summer, with Rice widely expect to move to pastures new in 2023.
Now, he has revealed that his preference will be to play Champions League football, something that at present neither Manchester United nor Chelsea are set to be able to offer next season as it stands.
”Like you said I see my friends here who are playing Champions League football, winning the trophies. You only get one career and at the end of your career you want to look back at what you’ve won and the biggest games you’ve played in”, Rice explained when asked about his future.
“I’m really ambitious and I really want to do that”, the 23 year old added.
Declan Rice: “I see my friends who play in the Champions League, winning the big trophies. You only get one career and at the end of your career you want to look at what you've won”. 🏴
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 1, 2022
The Telegraph has reported that Rice could depart this summer for £70m, a big step down on previous valuation, but that former leaders in the race for his signature Chelsea have been overtaken by two other unnamed Premier League clubs.
With the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle United all able to afford to splash out on the midfielder, his preference for Champions League football could prove telling