West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice has admitted his dreams of playing Champions League football.
The 22-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United this summer and the admission of the player he wants from European football is sure to worry Hammers loyalists.
He said (via Daily Mirror): “Playing that Champions League music, that’s where I want to be.”
“It’s special, I can’t really describe it to be honest. As a child it’s your dream, first of all to play in the Premier League, but to compete for the Champions League [as well].
“You know West Ham, people say (we’re) a mid-table club and the last three seasons we’ve struggled with relegation. But this, what we’re doing now, has always been there. That was roughly when. We are on fire.
“We are on the right track to have West Ham’s best season in the Premier League. This in itself is a success. There is a good chance that we will get some kind of European place.
West Ham are in the race for Champions League qualification this season, but Chelsea and Leicester City are well positioned to secure a top-four finish instead of the Hammers.
However, the London club could take over Europa League football next season. Whether that will be enough to convince Rice to continue at West Ham remains to be seen.
The England international has become one of the most exciting talents in the country and it’s no surprise that he wants to play at the highest level.
He has proven his quality in the Premier League and with his national team and there is no reason why he cannot shine in the Champions League.
Manchester United could certainly use a quality young defensive midfielder like him, but the Hammers are unlikely to sell him on the cheap.
The Red Devils will need to break their transfer records to clinch the midfielder this summer and it remains to be seen how the situation turns over the next few months.
The Hammers must do everything in their power to end the season strong and qualify for the Champions League. This is the only way for them to guarantee Rice’s future at the club.
Read: How West Ham could line up against Everton later today.