‘I see my friends here, playing Champions League, winning the big trophies’: England midfielder Declan Rice admits desire to play top European football as the star fuels speculation he could LEAVE West Ham next summer, noting ‘you only get one career’
Declan Rice has strongly hinted at his desire to move away from West Ham in the summer as he looks to further his career.
The 23-year-old has been a key part of England’s run to the last-16 of the World Cup, but in his latest press conference from the Three Lions training camp, he’s revealed bigger hopes for the next stage of his career, including Champions League football.
West Ham captain Rice told reporters he’s been saying for years that he may consider an exit from the London Stadium. Rice said: ‘I’ve been playing consistently well for the club. I feel like I really wanna keep pushing.
‘I see my friends here, who are playing Champions League, winning the big trophies. You only get one career. At the end of your career, you want to look back at what you’ve won and the biggest games you’ve played in. I’m really ambitious, and I really want to do that.’
Declan Rice has hinted he may leave West Ham next summer for Champions League football
The England camp includes friends such as Mason Mount, who plays for Chelsea. They formed a bond when Rice was a youth player at the Blues, before switching to the Hammers when he was released at the age of 14.
Rice has spent his entire senior career with West Ham, rising to become club captain, and helping them to the Europa League semi-finals in his debut European campaign last season.
But is thought that he would like to experience the top tier of European club football, something that West Ham are unlikely to achieve, currently sitting 16th in the Premier League.
Rice has been friends with Mason Mount (L) since they were kids playing together at Chelsea
Rice was one of two England starters on Tuesday not to experience the Champions League yet
Rice was part of the England set-up that were runners-up in the European Championships last year, and has started all three of England’s matches so far in Qatar.
The Three Lions are currently working ahead of their first knockout fixture, when they face Senegal at the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday evening.
Most of the squad play for sides who routinely qualify for the Champions League, or would be expected to fight for the top four positions.
Of England’s starting 11 against Wales, only two players had not played in the top tier of European club football – Rice, and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Rice has spent his entire senior footballing career with West Ham, but may seek a move away