WEST Ham midfielder Declan Rice has admitted his desire to win the biggest trophies as speculation around his future continues.

Rice has played a key role in West Ham’s rise up the table in the last two years and has been linked with a big-money move this summer.

The England international, who is under contract at the Hammers until 2024 with the club having a year’s option, has reportedly attracted attention from his former club Chelsea, who he left as a 14-year-old.

The Blues have been linked with making a move for the midfielder over the past few transfer windows.

West Ham however remain keen to keep hold of their superstar and value him at well over £100 million.

Rice says he does not listen to the “noise”, but reiterated his ambitions to win the top prizes, which could suggest his future lies away from the London Stadium.

“I have always said it, I don’t want to have a career where I’ve not won anything,” he told Gary Neville on the Overlap podcast. 

Richmond and Twickenham Times: West Ham boss David Moyes has tipped Declan Rice to become a future England captain.West Ham boss David Moyes has tipped Declan Rice to become a future England captain.

“Growing up as a kid I’ve seen all these top players win the trophies, win the Premier League, the Champions League. 

“Me as a football fan and a player I want to win the best stuff, I want to win the Premier League, I want to lift that trophy, I want to win the Champions League, I want to win the FA Cups, League Cups, even with England, I want to win it all. 

“If you haven’t got that ambition as a footballer why are you playing? They are the best moments of your life winning those trophies. 

“I have thought about it before, what would those days be like lifting that trophy? The day of it, the night out after. I definitely want to have those experiences of winning trophies and being the best I can be.”

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Declan Rice has become a crucial player for West HamDeclan Rice has become a crucial player for West Ham

Asked if the speculation affects him, he added: “You constantly read stuff about myself, (Jarrod) Bowen, (Manuel) Lanzini. 

“If you’re performing well and there are top clubs around there are always going to be people circling. But I never actually read too much into it or believe it until something happens. 

“For me it is just noise and I have got to stay focused on what I have got to do at West Ham, which is perform week in, week out and be the best player because that’s what I want to be.”

Rice, who was released by the Blues, revealed that he was almost let go by the Hammers as well after the coaches were undecided on him.

He was only handed a scholarship, while other players were given guaranteed professional contracts.

“It was always really tough for me at West Ham because they were actually going to release me as well at 16,” he said. 

“No one knows that, I have never spoken about that. It was a 50-50 decision, half the coaches were saying keep him on, half the coaches were saying they were not too sure. I only ever got a two-scholarship.”

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Rice is one of the first names in the England squadRice is one of the first names in the England squad

His rise from that point has been meteoric, to the point of him being a key player in England’s run to the Euro 2020 final in the summer.

It ended in heartbreak as the Three Lions lost to Italy on penalties, which Rice says is the worst moment of his career.

“That is my lowest point that I have ever felt in football,” he said. “As players we thought it was ours to lose, we knew we were coming up against tough opposition, they were the standout team of the tournament, but with us being at home with the players we had and people we had to come off the bench, we thought it was going to be our game. 

“That feeling, even thinking now, I can visualise being stood there watching the penalties, it was awful, we were so close to creating history.

“It was more just shock. Everyone was quiet, Gareth (Southgate) said some lovely words, but then just to see Italy lifting the trophy was horrible. 

“I was sad, angry, gutted, everyone was. There is one thing getting to the final and there is another thing losing it, especially a Euros final.”

The Overlap is a YouTube channel from Gary Neville in partnership with Sky Bet.

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