Declan Rice annoyed by reports linking him with a move away from West Ham United amid Chelsea interest

Emerson Palmieri of Italy and Declan Rice of England
Emerson Palmieri of Italy and Declan Rice of England

West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice has branded speculation around his future ‘annoying’ in a recent interview.

The England international, who became the club’s team captain earlier this month after the retirement of Mark Noble, has been constantly linked with moves to some of Europe’s top clubs.

But speaking to Sky Sports, Rice stated he doesn’t like the speculation, though he’s able to push it to the back of his mind when playing for the Hammers.

“Everyone knows my relationship with the players here, the manager,” he said.

“I’ve never once complained. Every time I put on the shirt, I go out there and give it one hundred per cent and whatever happens off the pitch takes care of itself. 

“I can’t control that – what I can control is going out there and trying to be the best player.’

The 23-year-old also stated that he couldn’t do anything about the reports, although they annoyed him.

The player, a graduate of West Ham academy, has gained interest from Chelsea and Manchester United, after some impressive showings for club and country.

Despite his growing reputation, he doesn’t like possible fees being put forward, with suggestions he’s worth around £100million.

“It’s annoying because of the numbers that get attached to your name,” he added.

“You can’t control that at all, but there’s stuff sometimes that you see and you read that you don’t want to hear because it’s not really true in a way.”

Meanwhile, for Rice, the emphasis is to enjoy his football, regardless of who he is playing for. He wants to play for a team that guarantees he will get game time, which is something West HAm has offered over the last four seasons.

The midfielder, who can also play as a defender, has already made nearly 200 appearances for West Ham and played in a European Championship final for England.

“All I can do is go out on the pitch and play football and be happy,” he said.

“For the last couple of seasons, that’s what I’ve done, and that’s the faith the manager has put in me, so all that speculation stuff, that’s what comes with playing good, I suppose. 

“I think it’s completely out of my mind [when on the field]. Nothing’s officially happened. 

“I’ve always said until anything actually happens, there’s no point talking about anything because I’m a West Ham player, I have a contract with West Ham, and I’ll always respect that.   

“I know that I’m going to be the captain of West Ham this season. I know it’s an honour.”