Rice’s Champions League comments spark more speculation about his future

Comments by Declan Rice have been portrayed as him hinting that he could leave West Ham in search of Champions League football.

England international Rice has been linked with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United for some time.

Speaking to the BBC’s MOTDx programme about West Ham’s superb season and hopes of a Champions League place, Rice said: “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 [too].

“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.”

The Sunday Mirror say his remarks are “arguably a boost to his potential suitors” and an indication that he could look to move on.

Meanwhile, the Mail on Sunday reports that West Ham are looking to re-sign Marko Arnautovic from Chinese club Shanghai SIPG.

Crystal Palace are also said to be interested in the Austrian forward, who left east London for China in July 2019.