Declan Rice 'fully focused' on West Ham amid transfer speculation

West Ham defensive midfielder DeclanRice has enjoyed a breakthrough season
Image: West Ham defensive midfielder Declan Rice has enjoyed a breakthrough season

Declan Rice has stressed that after his "crazy" season, his focus in terms of club football is solely on playing for West Ham.

The 20-year-old midfielder's 2018-19 campaign has seen him start 34 Premier League matches, make his England debut, and earn a place among the nominees for the PFA Young Player of the Year award.

He is currently preparing for the Nations League finals, with England's semi-final against the Netherlands taking place in Guimaraes a week on Thursday.

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Rice, who in December signed a new deal with the Hammers running to 2024 with the option of a further year, has been linked with Manchester City and Manchester United.

When asked about interest from other clubs and how he was dealing with that, Rice said: "Everything's good.

"I know there's speculation but during the season I signed a new five-year contract with West Ham, so my focus is fully on playing for West Ham.

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"I have a great connection with the fans. The fans love me, I love them, and that's the way it is at the moment. I'm not thinking about anything else."

Declan Rice makes his debut for England against the Czech Republic 1:34
Rice is hopeful England can 'do the business' at the Nations League

Rice subsequently went on to speak of aspirations of playing in the Champions League.

Asked if the way 22-year-old Dutch midfielder Frenkie De Jong, who is moving from Ajax to Barcelona this summer, has performed on big stages was the sort of thing he wanted to do, Rice said: "Definitely.

"I think when you start out in football for sure you always want to play at the top.

"You want to play in the Champions Leagues. I think if you were in football and didn't want to do that, there'd be no point in playing.

"De Jong has got his move to Barcelona and it's fully deserved - he's a top, top player, I think you've seen that in the Champions League - and it will be great to come up against him in the Nations League."

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