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West Ham United: Chelsea in pole position for Declan Rice

West Ham United: Chelsea in pole position for Declan Rice -West Ham Transfer Rumours

Chelsea are ahead of Manchester United in the race to sign West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, according to a report which claims that an agreement has been made with the Blues.

The Lowdown: Rice is a man in demand

The Hammers vice-captain has been subject to heavy interest from a number of European giants, including the likes of Real Madrid, who are said to be monitoring the player.

However, it is suitors from the Premier League who have been drawing the greatest interest, with Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea all named in the running for the England international’s signature.

Irons manager David Moyes had previously slapped a £100m price tag on the 23-year-old, whereas now it is claimed that it would take in excess of £120m for West Ham to consider selling their star man.

The Latest: Rice agreement with Chelsea

According to a Spanish report relayed by TEAMtalk, Chelsea are in pole position to sign Rice.

It is claimed that the midfielder has agreed personal terms with his boyhood club, dealing both Manchester clubs a huge blow in their respective pursuits of the player.

The report added that the Hammers could be in line to generate a nine-figure sum if they sell the 23-year-old in the summer whilst their bargaining position is strong. This is due to a clause in his contract which allows the club to extend his deal by an extra year, taking it beyond 2024.

The Verdict: Could be a poor decision

Having recently turned 23, it is astonishing to note that Rice has made 178 appearances for the Irons, with 157 of those coming in the Premier League.

The midfielder has been instrumental in Moyes’ success at the east London club, particularly this season given West Ham’s push for a top-four finish, with the England international ranked as the squad’s best-performing player by SofaScore.

He is an asset both offensively and defensively. Not only does Rice rank in the 95th percentile for interceptions, he simultaneously ranks in the 92nd percentile for progressive carries (via FB Ref).

Therefore, if GSB do opt to sell him in the summer, they may be reaping a lucrative transfer fee but they would also be allowing the club’s highest-valued playing asset (and, as illustrated above, arguably they best player) to join a London rival, which may not go down at all well with the fan base.

In other news: Roshane Thomas has made a significant revelation about one West Ham player’s contract situation

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Article title: West Ham United: Chelsea in pole position for Declan Rice

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