West Ham star Declan Rice has ‘good chances’ to join Chelsea
London rivals Chelsea have ‘good chances’ to sign West Ham midfielder Declan Rice this summer, according to Sky journalist Florian Plettenberg.
The Lowdown: Hammers exodus?
A lot will depend on their Premier League status by the next transfer window, but recent reports have suggested that a few members of David Moyes‘ squad could leave this year.
Rice, who has been a standout for West Ham over the last few seasons, is one of their most heavily courted names – attracting interest from the likes of Man City, Arsenal and, of course, Graham Potter’s side.
Alongside the England international, summer signing Gianluca Scamacca has also been linked with a return to Italy, but perhaps his performance against AEK Larnaca in the Conference League last night could help to quell those rumours.
Moyes, who has been under-pressure this season after failing to build upon West Ham’s last two campaigns, has also been tipped to leave if results don’t quickly turn around.
The Latest: Chelsea have ‘good chances’ to sign Rice…
According to Sky journalist Plettenberg, it appears London rivals Chelsea are the current favourites to sign Rice, with the Blues having ‘good chances’ to seal his signing.
The Stamford Bridge side have been repeatedly linked with a move for Rice in recent years, but with the player’s contract expiring in 2024, the prospect of his sale is perhaps greater than ever.
“News #Rice: Chelsea is definitely in the race and highly interested – confirmed! He’s one of the top candidates in order to strengthen the defensive midfield. Contract until 2024. Therefore good chances to sign him this summer.”
The Verdict: Crucial player…
The 24-year-old often doesn’t receive enough praise for his quality, especially at international level.
It is arguable that Rice hasn’t been mentioned in the same breath as Jude Bellingham or Phil Foden often enough with many members of the media hinting he needs more credit.
Sky Italia journalist Angelo Mangiante has claimed Rice is ‘underrated’ and ‘a useful player for any team’ – meanwhile football writer Mark Carruthers says there is something ‘wonderfully understated’ about the player.
That being said, West Ham are still set to demand a marquee price tag, with Moyes even exclaiming last year that Rice is worth £150 million in 2022.
This year, reports have suggested that Rice could actually cost around half that much at £70 million, mainly due to the player’s contract situation in east London.
Of course, West Ham will be hoping to squeeze every penny possible out of suitors.