Chelsea want Declan Rice.
That’s hardly news at this point, of course, as there have been so many reports of interest from the London club in West Ham United’s midfielder.
Rice, in case you didn’t know, came through the ranks at Chelsea and departed in 2014, with the Irons picking him up.
He has gone on to make 123 appearances for the Irons, captaining the side regularly this season when Mark Noble has been on the bench.
Rice has also won 10 England caps following his switch of allegiance from the Republic of Ireland, and is seen as one of the best players in his position in the Premier League.
The Athletic now carries an in-depth piece on Rice’s upbringing at Chelsea and explores whether the Blues can actually sign him.
There is no doubt that they absolutely want to bring the 21-year-old to the club, but the chances of a move in the January transfer window are next to impossible.
While The Athletic reports that Rice has switched agents and is now represented by his father, Chelsea face a major battle to convince the Hammers to sell.
They have set their stall out and value Rice at £80m, but they will reject a bid of that value if it is tabled in January.
Indeed, West Ham have offered the midfielder a new contract and hope he will sign it soon, but there is not said to be any rush from the player’s side.
Rice is more likely to move in the summer and he is said to want to join a club that can challenge for silverware on a regular basis.
West Ham are currently eighth in the Premier League, just a point and a position behind Chelsea, and the two meet next Monday.
GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…
It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever for West Ham to cash in on Rice in January.
Were they to receive £80m, of course, they still wouldn’t really be able to secure such a versatile, exceptional replacement, particularly one who is home grown.
This is not at all to denigrate the information – Chelsea almost certainly do want him – but there really wasn’t ever any chance of Rice moving in January.
Let’s put that one to bed now.