Declan Rice West Ham 2020-21Getty/Goal

'You never know' - West Ham's Noble unsure of Rice future amid Chelsea and Man Utd rumours

Mark Noble says that he hopes Declan Rice will remain with West Ham for the foreseeable future, although the veteran midfielder admitted "you never know" what can happen as big clubs swirl.

Rice has been the subject of interest from the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United since breaking through with West Ham's first team in 2017.

The 21-year-old midfielder, who has earned 13 senior caps since opting to represent England rather than Ireland at international level, has featured 16 times for the Hammers this season.

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As rumours continue linking Rice to some of England's biggest clubs, Noble says he remains hopeful that he may be able to call Rice a team-mate for the foreseeable future, but he does understand how difficult it will be for that to be a reality.

“He’s still learning his trade, he’ll get much better with experience. I’m hoping it’s here [at West Ham] but in this game you never know,” Noble told TalkSPORT.

“I’m sure he’ll be a top, top player and an even better player in years to come.”

Noble, who has been with West Ham since joining as a youth player in 2000, added that he believes Rice can someday captain England if he continues his development into one of the Premier League's top midfielders.

“With Dec I don’t have to say too much. He’s such a great kid, got a great family, he’s a top, top player.

“There are two or three things that I’ve been on him about in the last two seasons to change in what he does.

“I do believe that if he progresses then he’ll captain England one day. That’s the sort of player he is.

“He’s such a level-headed kid. You’ve got to remember he’s still only 21.”

West Ham currently sit 10th in the Premier League, having most recently earned a 2-2 draw with Brighton on Sunday.

Rice, Noble and the Hammers are set to visit Southampton on Tuesday before continuing their busy festive schedule with a visit to Everton on New Years' Day.