If there is one thing the world does not need it is Declan Rice transfer speculation stories. The England midfielder has been repeatedly been linked with a potential move to Chelsea and Manchester United. He’s also been linked to other clubs as well, but it is the Declan Rice to Chelsea and Declan Rice to Man United songs that have been the most overplayed.
That said, the World Cup break has brought another off-season to us, and with it, time to speculate on transfer movement. Rice himself made some remarks today that very much invited speculation on his club future.
Declan Rice: “I see my friends who play in the Champions League, winning the big trophies. You only get one career and at the end of your career you want to look at what you’ve won”. ???????
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 1, 2022
“One hundred percent, I want to play in the Champions League,” Rice said at an England National team press conference in Qatar today.
“For the last two or three years I’ve been saying that. I’ve been playing consistently well for club and I feel like I really want to keep pushing. I see my friends here, who are playing Champions League and for big trophies.
“You only get one career and at the end you want to look back at what you’ve won and the biggest games you’ve played in. I really want to do that.”
On one hand, Rice is just saying all the right things there, but on the other hand, he is implying “hey, come get me! I want to compete in Europe’s real competition!” The Hammers currently sit 16th in the Premier League after winning just four of their 15 this term. In other words, they’re not climbing all the way to fourth, from that, and qualifying for the UCL.
They are also in conference league now, having finished seventh last season, so there is no path for them on that front either. Kudos to the Irons for finishing sixth and seventh in back to back years, plus their reaching the Europa League Final last season (had they won that match, they would have been in Champions League this season), but they just can’t seem to get over the hump.
It’s not going to happen for them, so maybe this summer is the right time to cash in on Declan Rice? They have been extremely reluctant to sell, but his contract is up in 2024 (although they have a one year club option). Also, he has reportedly been the subject of extremely valuable bids, so he should command massive transfer fee, and with it a huge financial windfall for the club.
Transfermarkt currently values Declan Rice at 80 million Euro ($84m, 68.5 GBP)
Paul M. Banks is the Owner/Manager of The Sports Bank and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”