Rice has turned down an offer of a new contract numerous times from West Ham and is angling for a move away from the Hammers at the end of the season.


There are claims that West Ham rejected a £100m bid from Manchester United last summer and want around £120m before agreeing to sell the player in the summer.



The Red Devils, Chelsea and Arsenal are expected to be in the race to sign Rice in the next transfer window and almost everyone expects him to move on from the London Stadium.


Noble admitted that it is the reality of being a club such as West Ham and players of Rice’s quality want to play in the Champions League.



He insisted that the current Hammers captain’s willingness to leave West Ham has not affected his standing within the club as everyone understands and respects his ambition to play on a bigger stage.


“It’s just the world we live in”, the West Ham sporting director told the Evening Standard.



“We’re West Ham and these players want to go out and play Champions League football — and do you blame them?


“Dec is no different.


“Dec will always be hailed at West Ham as a fantastic player and such a top, top person.


“But I don’t think anyone begrudges him wanting to go and win things.


“We just hope he’ll keep performing like he has been over the last month or so.


“Wherever Declan ends up, or however much someone pays for him, whether it’s here or anywhere else, he’s worth every penny.


“He’s said openly he loves playing at West Ham, but he has got ambitions as a player to go and play in the Champions League and win trophies.


“I don’t think any West Ham fan can actually have an agenda over that.


“Do you blame him for having really big ambitions?


“Of course, you don’t. If he didn’t, he probably wouldn’t be as good as he is.”


West Ham boss David Moyes has insisted that it will take nothing short of a British transfer record fee before he agrees to sell Rice.