By Daniel Feliciano

4th Mar, 2022 | 9:30pm

'Urgent' - Declan Rice hands West Ham Champions League warning

Declan Rice has sent West Ham a major warning ahead of next season, admitting his ‘urgent’ need to play in the Champions League and win trophies.

The 23-year-old was crowned London’s Player of the Year at an awards ceremony on Thursday night and was interviewed by the Standard about his ambitions going forward.

The Hammers vice-captain revealed that he believes he is among the best players in the world in his position and admitted his desire for top level success is ‘as urgent as possible’.

“It is as urgent as possible,” he said. “I feel like, not only for me, that’s for every young player as well.

“We are really close with West Ham at the minute and last season it was gutting to lose out on it but we are pushing. We’ll keep going. Champions League is a big aim of mine and hopefully one day I can play in it and do well.

“I feel like I am one of the established top players around the world. I am only 23, so I am still young — that’s what I mean in that sense — but in terms of my playing ability and the way I’ve performed consistently, I see myself as an established player now who’s got good experience and can play at any level if required.”

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

Warning shot

If it wasn’t clear to West Ham and their fans prior to now, Rice wants Champions League football and he wants it now.

If the Hammers are able to beat the odds and end the season in fourth place ahead of Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United then their chances of keeping him for an extra year are boosted massively.

But if, as expected, they are to miss out on Europe’s premiere competition then those top clubs that are involved will be looking towards him to bolster their own sides.

It seems as though he would be open to the move and while Hammers fans won’t like that, they surely can’t deny him the opportunity considering everything he has given to them.

A move would bring in a crazy amount of money, a chance to reinvest that into the squad and bolster several positions and go again, while also letting him live out his dream. Seems like a win-win to me.

In other West Ham news, ‘For me it is…’ – West Ham star shares thoughts on transfer valuation amid summer interest