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West Ham’s Rice admits trophy hunger as speculation swirls over future

London (AFP) – West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has admitted his desire to win the biggest trophies as speculation swirls over a potential big-money move at the end of the season.

The England international, who has been pivotal in West Ham’s rise over the past two years, has been linked with a number of Premier League giants including Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City.

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.

“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.”

Rice, whose West Ham side are currently fourth in the Premier League table, said he tried not to let the speculation over his future affect him.

“If you’re performing well and there are top clubs around, there are always going to be people circling,” he said. “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.”

The midfielder, who was released by Chelsea as a 14-year-old, revealed he could have suffered the same fate at the Hammers after the coaches were undecided about his quality.

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.”

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