In Conversation with Declan Rice

Exclusive leaked extracts from a Declan Rice phone hack*.

*Obviously, not really.

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Sunday 21 May, 18:41

AGENT: It’s your move, son. The world and his wife are competing for your signature so it’s all about what you want now. Nobody at West Ham wants to lose y’ but fans and board are resigned to the fact that it’s basically your call. The official agent line is to chase the money, but you’re set for life anyway. Unless you’ve got an Ivan Toney gambling habit I don’t know about…

DR: I know the smart money’s on me going to Arsenal but my mind’s more scrambled than their title credentials right now. The pressure of this decision makes playing in front of Roberto seem like a walk in the park. Look, leave it with me. There’s a few people I need to talk to…

Sunday 21 May, 18:49

DR: Wassup J-Lingz. Long time no see. How’s tricks?

JL: Good, bro. Good. Contract’s coming to an end so got another big pay day to look forward to.

DR: Er, ok. That’s kinda what I was calling about actually. Wanted to pick your brains about the West Ham versus big club decision-making process.

JL: I know they won a couple of European pots back in the day, and I guess they managed to sign me, but would you really class Forest as a big club?

DR: I meant opting to stay with Manchester United after we revitalised your career. What’s life like at a club like Man U?

JL: The facilities are better.

DR: Examples…?

JL: The padded chairs. I was comfy at Old Trafford but I’m getting splinters on me arse here at the City Ground.

DR: Anything else?

JL: Media set-up. Since I signed, I’ve basically had to do my own promo! We’re talking third-world camera equipment, and the studio lighting’s awful compared to Manchester’s Media City. It’s proper screwing with my Insta numbers. Hey, I don’t suppose you fancy doing a TikTok?

DR: Sorry mate, gotta go, the baby’s crying.

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Sunday 21 May, 18:50

DR: Harry mate, it’s Dec. Hope you don’t mind me calling. I know it’s not been a great weekend for your lot.

HK: Ah, y’ get used to it.

DR: Tell me about it. That sort of nails why I’m calling. We shouldn’t have to get used to it should we? Players of our quality?

HK: You digging me out for that that penalty miss, coz I told the boys I’m sorry-

DR: No, no. I know we’ve had our disappointments with England but it was a club rather than country conversation I wanted to have.

HK: Eh, you thinking of joining Spurs?

DR: Fuck off.

HK: Fair enough. Doesn’t look like we’ll be offering European football of any variety next season.

DR: So what are you gonna do? Stay or go?

HK: To be honest mate, I think I missed the boat. City have got Haaland now so they’ve no use for me.

DR: United? Bayern Munich?

HK: The thing with Munich is they’re even more dominant than City. Where’s the pleasure in never really achieving any more than you’re expected to? A Champions League win there would be the equivalent of a League Cup at Spurs.

DR: How far did you get in the Carabao this year?

HK: Seriously, you can fuck off if you’re gonna be like that. At least I have some runners-up medals.

DR: Fair play. Out of interest, where d’you keep those medals?

HK: Tucked away in a drawer somewhere.

DR: And where would you keep a winner’s medal?

HK: Probably the same place.

DR: Strange isn’t it, how you hear about players not even knowing where their silverware is.

HK: Weird. It’s almost like it doesn’t mean that much after all. Mad innit that Kalvin Phillips is gonna have a Premier League winner’s medal this season when he’s probably had less minutes than I’ve got goals.

DR: Ross Turnbull has a Champions League medal.

HK: Who?

DR: Just someone I know from my time at Chelsea.

HK: You might not get a medal for being a club legend but it’s a damn sight harder to achieve.

DR: I hear y’.

[Long silence]

HK: Listen, if you win the Europa Conference, keep the open-top bus celebrations away from Hackney and Waltham Forest will y’.

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Sunday 21 May, 20:23

DR: Hey bud, how’s the abdomen injury?

MM: Couldn’t have been better timed really, keeping me out of this end-of-season shitshow!

DR: End of season? Don’t you mean whole season?! At least this afternoon’s 1-0 defeat to the champions was respectable.

MM: Did you see their line-up? Kalvin Phillips, Cole Palmer and Sergio Gomez all made their first league starts of the season. Guardiola was taking the piss.

DR: Mate, come on, you know they’re all good players.

MM: I know, but we’ve spent £600m and I still get more game time than them.

DR: The cream rises.

MM: Are you flirting with me again?

DR: You know I love you bro.

MM: So when are we gonna get to play together again?

DR: You need to get yourself back in the England team! Chelsea spunked their chances of a reunion when they spunked 107 million on Enzo Fernández. What’s your contract situation latest?

MM: Not looking good. Fancy meeting in Liverpool?

DR: Not really. I think Klopp might be losing it. I could see us going there and getting tagged as the next generation of Spice Boys or some such crap.

MM: Ok, didn’t need much convincing but Liverpool’s out. What’s the craic in the East End? You got any room in your midfield for another Chelsea castaway?

DR: All depends on 7th of June…

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Monday 22 May, 13:26

MN: Afternoon captain.

DR: You’re still my captain Nobes.

MN: Officially I’m your sporting director.

DR: No offence mate but you look gash in a suit.

MN: Cheeky bugger. Do you want a transfer or not?!

DR: That’s the thing, I just don’t know. How did you feel after your last game?

MN: Fulfilled.

DR: Even without silverware?

MN: There’s a reason it’s called silverware. The gold can be found elsewhere.

DR: So you think I should stay?

MN: I think that’s up to you and you alone.

DR: I need more time to make up my mind.

MN: One more year?

DR: One more year…

[David Sullivan can be heard shouting in the background ‘Only if he signs a contract extension with certain conditions attached!’]

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