By Noel Whelan

2nd Jul, 2021 | 8:00pm

Whelan speculates 'disgusting' reason Rice has snubbed West Ham offers

Noel Whelan has suggested a desire to play in the Champions League is why Declan Rice has reportedly snubbed a new West Ham contract. 

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former striker claimed the 22-year-old may want to join a “disgustingly rich” top-four club.

The Telegraph’s Matt Law reported (July 1st) Rice has turned down two new contract offers at the London Stadium. 

Chelsea and Manchester United are said to be interested, while Manchester City could join the hunt next summer.

Rice is currently starring for England at the European Championships.

Whelan suggested the midfielder’s experience of a “big competition” may have him looking to join a Champions League club this summer.

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Whelan told Football Insider’s Rissell Edge: “It’s a footballing decision. Like now, when you’re playing in these big competitions, big European competitions that’s what he wants to play in, even at club level.

“Right now they’re in Europe, that might be enough. When you’ve had a taste of it, are West Ham going to give him the Champions League he wants and needs? Probably not.

“They’re financially miles off from the top four or six who are disgustingly rich.

Even getting into Europe this season was a massive achievement for West Ham. A lot quicker than they thought after where they finished last year.

“He probably loves West Ham but he wants more. He wants Champions League football, year in year out.

Only the big four can give you the opportunity of doing that. In fact, probably only three teams.”

Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool are England’s representatives in next season’s Champions League.

West Ham will be joined by Leicester City in the Europa League.

In other news, West Ham have been tipped to sign “brilliant” forward after Fabrizio Romano update.