West Ham’s Declan Rice makes “heart is set” admission amid Arsenal transfer speculation

Declan Rice admits his “heart is set” on captaining West Ham to European glory after the agony of missing out with England in the Euros.

Rice learned the hard way the painfully fine margins in finals as the Three Lions lost EURO 2020 at Wembley to Italy on penalties two years ago. But Rice has no intention of letting the Europa Conference League final end up in Italian hands too when the Hammers face Fiorentina on June 7 in Prague.

Rice, when asked if he had dreamed of lifting the trophy, admitted: “Yeah, all of us have thought about it. The journey we have been on, now we are one game away from lifting something for West Ham. It will go down in history.
Rice, when asked if he had dreamed of lifting the trophy, admitted: “Yeah, all of us have thought about it. The journey we have been on, now we are one game away from lifting something for West Ham. It will go down in history.
But I don’t think about those things too much because I have been in finals before and lost. The differences between the highs and lows of the game are really minimal. But I think we are all dreaming and all the fans are dreaming. We have a right to but it is down to us to get it done.

“We have the squad who have played in big games and have some big winners in our team. We will be ready for anything. It is the last game of the season and we need to empty the tank and give absolutely everything for the club, each other and the fans.”


West Ham’s last major trophy was in 1980, when they beat Arsenal 1-0 in the FA Cup Final. It is a drought midfielder Rice is determined to end despite on-going uncertainty over his future. The £100million star is under contract at the Hammers for just one more season with Mikel Arteta desperate to take him to Arsenal.
But Rice, who has 41 England caps, insisted: “I have not really focused on any of that. My main focus this season since after the World Cup has been getting us out of the relegation battle and winning this trophy, my heart is set on that.
Everything else is just noise and speculation. I can’t help that, it comes with playing. Doing it for the club, my family and the fans – that is my only focus. I want to make them very happy and will do everything I can.”
Rice again impressed in an energetic central midfield display on the final day of the Premier League season in his 61st appearance this term for club and country. David Moyes’ men lost 2-1 at Leicester but finished 14th and Rice insists he and his team-mates are in decent shape for Prague.
He added: “It was about getting in good condition for Fiorentina which is a massive one. I feel unbelievably fit. I am ready for anything in that final whether we go 90 or 120, I feel like I will be able to.
It has been a long season with the World Cup but the way I have kept myself off the pitch has been key to being able to play so many games. I want to play every game and rack up as many appearances as possible. It has been good to do that.”


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