Declan Rice admits he wants to play Champions League football as West Ham nervously waits to see if he can wrap up a remarkable season in the top four.
After narrowly avoiding relegation at the end of last season, the Hammers are now firmly entrenched in a battle for European places, with Rice in the lead.
Although the 22-year-old is currently sidelined with a knee injury, his performances in midfield have been spectacular and he has worn the captain’s armband with distinction.
Such performances have recently drawn admiring glances from clubs such as Manchester United and Manchester City, with the England international admitting playing in Europe’s premier competition appeals to him.
“To have that Champions League music, that’s where I want to be,” Rice told the BBC’s MOTDx.
“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.
Victory over Everton at London Stadium on Sunday afternoon would push David Moyes’ men back into a serious row as they are only two points behind Leicester in fourth place.
The Foxes have yet to face Chelsea at the top level before the end of the season, with an FA Cup final to face as well – meaning there is a real chance that West Ham could get their best Premier League result.
In 1986, the club finished third thanks to goals from Tony Cottee and Frank McAvennie, with the former Everton forward insisting that a win for the Irons will be good enough on Sunday.
“It’s good to say West Ham is having a good season, but they actually have good players,” Cottee told talkSPORT. “They just have to hang in there.
“They really need to win the game today, I think they have to beat Everton to keep going and get up and try to catch Leicester really.
“I think Chelsea will probably get the third position, but if they catch someone they will catch Leicester.
“If West Ham loses today, or even a draw, it will make it difficult.”