Declan Rice claims he’s not getting ‘too carried away’ with ‘crazy’ transfer talk

West Ham talisman Declan Rice has insisted he is ignoring speculation surrounding his future, with a host of top Premier League clubs targeting a move for the midfielder in the summer.

Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea are all interested in the 23-year-old, who has maintained a ridiculously consistent level at the heart of David Moyes’ West Ham side this season.

The Hammers have reached the Europa League semi-finals and find themselves fighting for European football once again this season after an excellent campaign in 2020/21/.

Rice has been central to that success and has inevitably drawn the attention of the Premier League’s so-called big six. 90min understands Man Utd are prepared to break their transfer record to land the England international, while domestic rivals City and Chelsea are very much in the mix.

However, speaking to SkySports, Rice claimed he is blocking out the noise and is focused on the job at hand with West Ham.

“I feel like playing well comes with speculation,” he said. “I’ve had two or three top seasons with West Ham and the top clubs around the country are always going to be watching. It’s not just me, it’s the same for every player.

“I think it’s important not to get too carried away with that. We’ve had a good season with West Ham and there have been big games I’ve had to play in so I feel like my focus has always been on that. If I thought about other things, I’d get carried away and that wouldn’t be fair on the team or the manager.

“I can’t help, even with the numbers that get talked about. I get battered for it all the time on social media, but I can’t help that. I can help by going on the pitch and performing as best as Yo puedo.”

I added: “They [West Ham teammates] wind me up all the time. It’s crazy to speak about to be honest, so I just kind of block it out and do what I do best and that’s play football.”

Rice also spoke about coming third in the poll for the Football Writers’ Association Men’s Player of the Year award, behind winner Mohamed Salah and runner-up Kevin De Bruyne.

“It’s not bad,” Rice said. “I would like to have won it, but obviously up against Salah and De Bruyne it’s hard to say, because I can never imagine putting my name with those types of players.

Listen now to 90min’s brand new podcast, Talking Transferswith Scott Saunders & Graeme Bailey. Toby Cudworth joins the show again this week to discuss how Erik ten Hag’s appointment may affect Man Utd’s pursuit of Paul Mitchell. There is also chat on the futures of Jesse Lingard & David de Gea and a look at what Newcastle are planning this summer.

“To come third, it shows that people have appreciated what I’ve done on the football pitch. This season, I feel like I’ve taken another step in the right direction in my career, but I’m still only 23 and trust me, I know myself and I’ve got so much more that I can let out of the bag.

“I know that, my coaches tell me that and I think it just comes with time and as I get older, it’ll keep coming and coming. I feel like you’re only seeing the start of me. I’m going to keep pushing and getting better.”

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