Chelsea are mulling over a move for former academy sensation Declan Rice, as the star midfielder considers West Ham exit.
According to the latest report from Eurosport, Chelsea have shifted their attention to Declan Rice once again. The West Ham midfielder had a stunning Euro 2020 campaign with England, which has made him hungry for silverware. As such, the player is open to a move away from London Stadium, and a Stamford Bridge return could be on the cards.
For Chelsea’s part, they may have to prepare a bumper £200,000-a-week contract to convince Rice to rejoin the Blues. But a bigger problem for them will be to match West Ham’s price tag, with the Hammers holding out for a fee of £80 million.
A native of London, Declan Rice spent seven years in Chelsea’s youth academy from 2006 to 2013 before joining West Ham. He hasn’t had to look back since, becoming one of England’s best midfielders by producing consistent performances following his initial breakthrough in the 2017/18 campaign.
In four years, the Englishman has notched up 145 competitive appearances for West Ham. He even replaced Mark Noble as the club captain, guiding the Hammers to a successful 2020/21 season that saw them clinch Europa League football. The midfielder has also won 24 caps for the Three Lions, notably starring in the recently concluded Euro 2020.
Rice’s midfield partnership with Kalvin Phillips was indeed crucial in helping England reach the final of the coveted competition. And now Chelsea are hoping to recreate that success by deploying him alongside another Euro 2020 star in Jorginho, at the base of Thomas Tuchel’s 3-4-3 setup at Stamford Bridge next season.
It is no secret that the Blues are in the market for a new holding midfielder this summer. They have been linked with a move for Franck Kessie of AC Milan while Manchester United target Eduardo Camavinga has emerged as the latest target.
In Rice, though, they might find themselves a proven English talent who has the experience of playing in the Premier League and should settle in effortlessly. But whether or not the club can afford him remains to be seen.
A potential key in this chase could be Chelsea’s success in offloading fringe players. Incidentally, West Ham are among the clubs keen on the services of Tammy Abraham, so it will be interesting to see whether the Blues can use the forward as a sweetener in the deal to sign Declan Rice this summer.