Yaya Toure has urged Declan Rice to take the next step in his career amid interest from Manchester United and Chelsea.

Declan Rice is currently one of the most talked-about prospects in English football. Since making his breakthrough at West Ham, the Englishman has established himself as one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League while also becoming a crucial member of the English national team.

In the wake of his impressive performances for West Ham, many expect Rice to join a bigger club in the summer. Manchester United are among the clubs interested in securing the services of the English international, although they are set to face stiff competition from Chelsea. West Ham have denied any rumours surrounding Rice’s exit, though, and remain determined to keep hold of the talented midfielder beyond the summer.

However, Yaya Toure believes Rice should leave the London Stadium next season if he wants to further his career. The former Manchester City midfielder has urged the 23-year-old to join a Champions League team and play at the highest level of football more consistently.

“Declan Rice is doing a fantastic season. Let’s be honest about it because I really like him, I really respect him as a player. I’ve been seeing him growing since (Manuel) Pellegrini was the head coach of West Ham,” Toure told Stadium Astro (h/t Tribal Football)

Rice was linked with a Manchester United move last year as well (Photo by Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images)

Rice was linked with a Manchester United move last year as well (Photo by Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images)

“He’s doing fantastically well. Maybe one more season but I think he should go to the first big club, one more step, Champions League team for example. There he’s going to improve and there he’s going to be top,” Toure added.

Toure, who had more than 300 competitive appearances to his name for Manchester City, believes a Champions League-playing club could be an ideal destination for Rice next season.

He added, “With respect to West Ham, they’re doing fantastically well. David Moyes as a coach I know him, I respect him and with him Declan Rice can still progress, but if he wants to get on top of it, I think he should go to a Champions League team where he can make more impact.”

At just 23, Rice has close to 200 competitive appearances for West Ham. However, after years to speculation, one could expect him to move on in the summer, especially if the Hammers fail to secure Champions League qualification next season.

West Ham are currently embroiled in a fierce battle for the top four places, but their recent defeat to Brentford has served as a major blow to their aspirations of a Champions League finish come May. Manchester United and, especially, Chelsea will fancy their chances.

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