Chelsea are reportedly set to end their interest in Declan Rice, also a target for Liverpool, following the sacking of Frank Lampard.
According to a report by The Guardian, Declan Rice is unlikely to remain a target for Chelsea after the axing of Frank Lampard as their manager, thereby boosting West Ham United’s chances of keeping hold of him. The 22-year-old is also a target for Premier League champions Liverpool.
Declan Rice joined West Ham United from Chelsea in 2014, completing his footballing education at the east London club before breaking into their first-team setup a year later. Since then, the English international has gone from strength to strength and is now a pivotal figure for both club and country.
Till date, the 22-year-old has made 131 appearances for the Hammers, even chipping in with 3 goals and 5 assists. The young midfielder has even donned the armband for West Ham whenever Mark Noble has not been picked, which points towards his importance to the club. However, his progress has piqued the interest of a number of top clubs of late, including Chelsea and Liverpool.
In fact, for a long time, Rice was reported to be a priority for Frank Lampard, who eyed him as a potential long-term solution in midfield, with Jorginho not managing to convince him enough. However, with Lampard no longer at the helm at Chelsea, it is believed that the likelihood of the Blues maintaining their interest in the West Ham superstar is now slim.
The report suggests that “other figures” at Chelsea were not as keen as Lampard in bringing Rice back to Stamford Bridge. The former Chelsea manager was also prepared to sell a host of players to finance a move for Rice, who might no longer be a target. All this could end up working well for West Ham, but also Liverpool, who are one of the suitors in pursuit of the young midfielder.
The interest from Liverpool makes sense to some extent, seeing as Rice could potentially be an option at the heart of the defence, with the Reds desperately scouring for possible centre-back additions to Jurgen Klopp’s squad. Alternatively, Rice’s qualities would also make him an able replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum, who is reportedly set to join Barcelona.
It was suggested that Rice was eager to return to Chelsea, but with the Blues likely to call off their pursuit of the 22-year-old, it will be interesting to see if he is as keen on joining Liverpool. Either way, West Ham have been handed quite a boost, as far as their hopes of keeping Rice are concerned and will fancy their chances of retaining their services beyond the summer.