Declan Rice believes he is good enough to play for Manchester United but feels the time is not right to seek a move out of West Ham United.
The former Republic of Ireland international was heavily linked with the famed English Premier League side during the summer transfer window but no move ever materialised.
In a recent interview with Four Four Two magazine, Rice relayed that it was not the right time to depart West Ham but fully believes he has what it takes to compete at English football’s top level.
“Don’t get me wrong, I think I’ve got the ability to play for a club like that,” Rice said.
“But it’s all about the timing and I don’t think the timing is right for me at all. I’ve still got so much to learn. I’m loving it at West Ham, the connection between me and the supporters is special. I’ve become one of the fans’ favourites and the manager likes me.”
Rice confirmed that he wants to remain at West Ham for another few seasons while claiming that being able to reach legendary status within the club would be a huge honour.
“I’ve signed a contract here for the next few years and I’m looking forward to playing this season and the season beyond, so we’ll just see where it goes,” he said.
“To be called a West Ham legend in the future, maybe, would be a real honour.”
The current England international also revealed that his breakthrough with the Hammers very nearly not happened as he was seeking a loan move to Aston Villa.
“I wanted to go to Aston Villa under Steve Bruce,” he said.
“I remember speaking to Ryan Fredericks on the plane on the way home, and I was thinking that I should go on loan.
“Being dragged off at Anfield and then being left out of the squad for the next couple of matches, it really made me think.
“West Brom, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa wanted me. I was pushing for Villa the most.
“I remember speaking to the manager here, saying that I should go on loan. He just laughed it off and said, ‘You’re not going on loan!’ He said, ‘You’re going to stay, and you’re going to play’. He told me that I had to get back into the team.”