Chelsea and Manchester United have received a major blow in pursuit of Declan Rice, who has signed a new long-term deal with West Ham United.
West Ham United have made an official statement to announce that Declan Rice has committed his long-term future to the club. The teenage prodigy, who has been heavily linked with Manchester United and Chelsea lately, has put pen to paper on a new contract that will tie him down to the London giants till June 2024.
Declan Rice joined the fabled West Ham United youth setup after failing to make headway in the Chelsea academy. Just three years into joining the Hammers, the player went on to make his first-team debut, aged just 18. The teenage prodigy has since grown in stature within the first-team setup at the London Stadium, and is now a regular under Manuel Pellegrini.`
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) December 28, 2018
With the first half of the season now over, Rice has featured in all but three of the fixtures that West Ham have played so far. But, for a long time, there have been lingering concerns that Rice could run down his deal before moving away from the London Stadium on a free transfer next summer, which piqued the interest of Chelsea and Manchester United.
The interest from Chelsea comes as a bit of a surprise, considering Maurizio Sarri does not use a proper defensive midfielder in his system, instead banking on a deep lying playmaker to play as the first man in front of the backline.
Rice though, could possibly be a solution at the heart of the Chelsea defence, with Andreas Christensen and Gary Cahill rumoured to be nearing their exit from Stamford Bridge. But, the Blues are not alone in pursuit of the 19-year-old, with Manchester United also interested in signing him.
The Red Devils have endured a difficult season that has exposed a number of problems in the first-team squad. One such issue is that of the holding midfielder, with Nemanja Matic showing signs of age catching up to him. Rice is thus, a viable target for Manchester United, who could have a long-term successor to Matic in the teenager.
Chelsea and Manchester United though, have received a major blow in pursuit of Rice, who has signed a new long-term deal with West Ham United, committing his future to the London giants till June 2024. Upon signing the renewal, the player expressed his delight at continuing with the Hammers, and that leaving was never an option.
“I’m absolutely delighted to have got the contract done, signed and to commit my future to the Club until 2024. I’m absolutely ecstatic. Without a doubt, the plan was always to stay at West Ham. I’ve had the support from the fans, from the players and from the manager and now, to get it done and commit myself to this Club is a very special moment and I’m over the moon.”
The renewal should effectively end Chelsea and Manchester United’s pursuit of the teenage prodigy, with West Ham set to keep a firm hold of their prized asset.