West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice has admitted that he dreams of playing Champions League football.
The 22-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United this summer, and the player’s admission that he wants European football will certainly worry the Hammers faithful.
He said (via Daily Mirror): “To have that Champions League music playing, that’s where I want to be.
“It’s special – I can’t really describe it to be honest. As a kid, it’s your dream – first of all to play in the Premier League, but to be competing for the Champions League (as well).
“You know West Ham, people say (we’re) a mid-table club and last three seasons we’ve been battling relegation. But this, what we’re doing now, has always been there. It was just about when. We’re on fire.
“We’re on course to have West Ham’s best-ever season in the Premier League. That in itself is an achievement. There’s a great chance that we are going to get some sort of European spot.”
West Ham are in the race for Champions League qualification this season, with Chelsea and Leicester City also in the running to claim a top-four finish.
However, the London club could secure Europa League football next season. Whether that is enough to convince Rice to continue at West Ham remains to be seen.
The England international has developed into one of the most exciting talents in the country, and it is no surprise that he wants to play at the highest level.
He has proven his quality in the Premier League and with the national team, and there is no reason why he could not shine in the Champions League.
Man United could definitely use a quality young defensive midfielder, but the Hammers are unlikely to sell him cheaply.
The Red Devils would have to shatter their transfer record to land Rice this summer and may decide that his acquisition is not a priority.
The Hammers must do everything in their power to finish the season strongly and qualify for the Champions League. It is the only way they can guarantee Rice’s future at the club.