Chelsea are reportedly plotting a move for West Ham United contract rebel Declan Rice, who could leave the club on a free transfer in the summer.

According to British publication Metro, Chelsea are looking to land a contract rebel from a fellow London rival. Although, the player in question this time around is Declan Rice. The youngster is currently contracted to West Ham United but his deal is set to expire at the end of the 2018-19 season.

Rice is a prodigious talent that was earmarked for success early on in his days at West Ham United. In the 2016-17 season, the Hammers had already began inculcating the youngster into the first-team, with many hailing him as the next bright superstar to emerge from West Ham’s academy.

By the coming season, Rice established himself within the setup, with 26 league appearances – majority of the appearances coming from the centre-back position. Now under Manuel Pellegrini, Declan Rice has managed to impress the new manager as well, establishing himself in the holding midfield role as the former Manchester City manager has found success in the 4-1-4-1 he has deployed recently.

With great performances, there is bound to be a whirlwind of interest. While other clubs are taking note of the player’s talent, Chelsea are reportedly plotting a move for the youngster, with the player yet to renew his deal, a contract that is set to expire at the end of the 2018-19 season.

The new guard. (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)

The new guard. (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

Rice has been offered an improved deal worth £20,000 per week by West Ham United, with the contract set to be extended till 2020. But, Chelsea are reportedly looking to double West Ham United’s offer in order to convince the 19-year-old to return to Chelsea, having released the player when he was 14.

Interestingly, Chelsea are stacked in the midfield area. But, Mateo Kovacic is not a permanent member of the squad and Chelsea do not retain any option to convert the loan deal into one. Aaron Ramsey has been touted as an ideal target. But, the presence of other clubs in the market for the Arsenal contract rebel might force them to look at other options.

Also, Declan Rice will be a good replacement target as his contract is also up for expiry. What is interesting is, Declan Rice can act as a central defender as well, thus boosting the depth of the squad.

Chelsea seem intent on Rice, which will only pile more pressure on West Ham United to convince the academy graduate to commit to a new long-term deal.