Chelsea have identified Declan Rice as their desired midfield target this summer, with Thomas Tuchel ready to improve his ranks.

According to Fabrizio Romano, as relayed by Tribal Football, Chelsea are prioritising a move for Declan Rice. The newly crowned European giants are keen on shoring up their options in the attacking and midfield department as they look to mount a title race in the Premier League next term.

In attack, Chelsea remain persistent on their desire to sign Erling Haaland, despite the forward’s whopping valuation that could touch the €200 million mark. Another key target is Rice, who has turned quite a few heads with his performances for England in the ongoing European Championship.

Signing Rice won’t be an easy task, as West Ham are determined to keep hold of their star player. “If they will sign a midfielder, Declan Rice will be one of the biggest possibilities. Then, they have to find an agreement with West Ham, and it won’t be easy because West Ham are asking for a lot of money for him,” said Romano during a Twitch Livestream.

West Ham manager David Moyes has already hinted that any interested party may have to offer a vast sum of money in order to secure the services of the English international. The Hammers’ demands are not surprising as well, as the midfielder has indeed become quite the sensation with his consistent performances over the past few seasons.

What does the future hold for Rice? (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

What does the future hold for Rice? (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

At the age of just 22, the Londoner has notched up 145 competitive appearances for West Ham. He was even handed the captain’s armband at the start of last season after veteran Mark Noble lost his importance in the first team.

Rice’s performances in Euro 2020 have raised many eyebrows as well, with the Englishman creating a formidable partnership with Kalvin Phillips in the middle of the park. Their collective work rate and positional understanding have helped England remain resilient throughout the tournament.

Fortunately for Chelsea, they do have other alternatives to Rice in midfield. One of the latest players linked with a move to Stamford Bridge in the summer is Saul Niguez.

The Atletico Madrid star is expected to leave Wanda Metropolitano in the summer, putting several clubs, including Liverpool, on red alert. With Jorginho already doing a decent job in the holding midfield role, it won’t be surprising to see Tuchel shifting his attention towards a more attack-minded midfield option in Saul this summer.

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In the meantime, though, the Blues need to offload their unwanted players. The young Billy Gilmour has left the club on loan to Norwich City. But, they must find suitors for Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ross Barkley and Tiemoue Bakayoko, with the latter being courted by AC Milan.

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