Declan Rice breaks silence on future after hammers win major trophy in 43 years.


West Ham Captain Declan Rice confessed his love for the Club following their 2-1 victory over Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final in Prague, scaling down his exit talks.

Coach David Moyes said last month there is a chance Rice could leave – provided the price is right as it is believed the midfielder has a “gentleman’s agreement” that he can move in the summer – provided West Ham receive an offer worth £120m, be that in a transfer fee or a transfer fee plus players. Arsenal are interested, as are Bayern Munich.

Rice said: “At the moment, there’s a lot of speculation going on about my future. There is interest from other clubs, that’s out there, but I’ve got two years left at West Ham ultimately.

“I love this club, I love playing for this club. There’s not been anything yet, so my focus is on playing for West Ham, enjoying tonight and then seeing what happens. I’m captain of this club, I love it to pieces and I cannot speak highly enough of this place. Let’s see what happens.”

The England midfielder was elated on becoming the first West Ham player to lift a major trophy for 43 years.

“Honestly, it means absolutely everything. Tonight, the lads have been so on it. We had a real belief, I’m not just happy for us, the manager, but these fans, the staff – no one knows the work they put in. The chefs, player liaisons, I’m just as happy for myself as I am for them. I’m so, so happy.’’

Jarrod Bowen scored a last minute goal in the dramatic action as the final seemed to be heading for extra time.

Bowen timed his run to perfection as Lucas Paqueta slid a superb pass through the Fiorentina defence.

Said Benrahma had given his side the lead after converting a penalty that was cancelled out seven minutes later courtesy of a Giacomo Bonaventura well taken strike.

A Lucky Moyes who watched as the away fans unfurled a ‘Moyes Out’ banner during a 1-0 win over Fulham nine weeks ago is now a hero in the hammer’s supporters.

Moyes who has joined Ron Greenwood and John Lyall as trophy-winning Hammers managers, described the feeling as a great feeling.

“I would have to say it’s my best day in management because the moments you get to celebrate, have your family here, and win in the last few minutes of the game – we did that against Alkmaar as well – they don’t happen often. Tonight was brilliant, it’s a great feeling.’’

A place in next season’s Europa League means has qualified for Europe three seasons in a row, for the first time.

The title win means West Ham play in next season’s Europa League, a fete they have now achieved three seasons in a row, for the first time.


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