Chelsea are reportedly set to revive their transfer interest in West Ham United star Declan Rice, who is also a target for Manchester United and Manchester City.
According to a report from The Telegraph, Premier League giants Chelsea are plotting to rekindle their interest in West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice, who is also being pursued by arch-rivals Manchester City and Manchester United.
A former trainee with the Chelsea academy, the Englishman made the switch to West Ham’s youth setup in 2014 and has since risen to great heights. Even though he broke into the first-team as a centre-back, it is in the holding midfield role where he has excelled, becoming first-choice for club and country.
Naturally, a number of clubs from the top end of the Premier League have taken an interest, with Chelsea, especially, being extremely intent on re-signing him last summer under Frank Lampard. But, a move failed to materialise and following the sacking of Lampard, the Blues’ interest in the England international also faded.
However, it seems now that Chelsea could make a move for the 22-year-old again, with Thomas Tuchel pushing for his signing. The report states that the German tactician has become a huge admirer of the 22-year-old’s abilities and is set to recommend his name to Blues’ director Marina Granovskaia ahead of the summer transfer window.
Chelsea already have one of the best defensive midfielders in N’Golo Kante in their midst while Jorginho has proven his worth to the side this term as well. Plus, Mateo Kovacic and Billy Gilmour are also available at Tuchel’s disposal, not to forget the midfielders away on loan in the likes of Tiemoue Bakayoko, Ruben Loftus-Cheek among others.
But the loanees are not guaranteed of a future at Stamford Bridge while Kante has had some injury issues in the past year or so, thus, making Rice a viable target, considering that he could be used in defence, if need be. However, Chelsea are set to face competition from Manchester United and Manchester City for his transfer.
For Manchester United, it is the straightforward case of replacing Nemanja Matic, who is not getting any younger and has been linked with a reunion with Jose Mourinho at AS Roma. While Fred and Scott McTominay are options available at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s disposal, bringing in someone like Rice would enable the manager to play Paul Pogba in midfield without worrying about the defensive side of things.
Manchester City, meanwhile, will need a long-term replacement for long-time servant and club captain Fernandinho. The Brazilian has had a strong season and is expected to sign a new one-year deal, but is touching 37 and is in the final phase of his career. With Ilkay Gundogan also in his thirties, adding a young and proven talent like Rice would sort the Premier League champions’ midfield for years to come.
West Ham, though, will demand a transfer fee of around £90 million for Rice, while the player himself would favour a return to Chelsea, as per the report. It now remains to be seen if there is any progress on this front come summer or whether the 22-year-old remains a West Ham player.