The future of West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice is likely to be one of the most talked about topics in this summer’s transfer window, as the interest in his services continues to mount.
Following a very impressive 2020/21 Premier League campaign with the Hammers, the England international is attracting plenty of attention, most certainly from both Chelsea and Manchester United.
The Blues, who also want to sign Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland this summer, have been long-term admirers of Rice and are keen to bring him back to Stamford Bridge this summer, six years after he left the club to join West Ham.
But with the Hammers having a very high valuation for the England star, who played a key role in the Three Lions’ 2-0 win over Germany at Euro 2020 on Tuesday, how much will Chelsea have to pay to test the Hammers’ resolve?
Tuchel reignites Chelsea interest
Just days after Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League final in Porto, it was reported by The Telegraph that Blues head coach Thomas Tuchel had identified three summer signings that he wished to make this summer.
One of them was West Ham ace Rice, which came as a surprise considering that the Blues had cooled their interest in the England international following the departure of Frank Lampard back in January.
However, Tuchel has opted to reignite Chelsea’s interest in the Hammers star as he looks to strengthen the club’s central-midfield options this summer.
West Ham are believed to value Rice at around £100million, making it clear that they are determined to retain his services for as long as possible and not lose him.
Interestingly, in comparison to the Hammers’ valuation of the defensive-midfielder, his true value, according to the CIES Football Observatory, is only somewhere between £50million and £70million.
That, thus, may put Chelsea off a move if the Hammers refuse to budge on their own valuation.
Rice ‘interested’ in Man United
As well as Chelsea being keen on Rice’s signature, Manchester United are also big fans, so much so that Rice would be ‘interested’ in a move to Old Trafford.
That is according to our sister title – the Manchester Evening News – who report that Rice asked United’s England players back in March about what life is like at Old Trafford.
Like Chelsea, United have been long-term admirers of Rice, but their big-money pursuit of Jadon Sancho and interest in Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane could put them off a move this summer, handing the Blues a useful boost.
Whoever does end up winning the race for Rice this summer, should he leave the London Stadium, they will be securing themselves a ‘top player’.
That was the verdict issued by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola a few years ago when the England ace was first bursting onto the scene.
“Declan Rice is an excellent young player and he will be a top English player for many years to come,” said the City chief, speaking back in 2018.
Blues handed Rice boost
Rice has turned down the offer of two new contracts at the London Stadium, football.london understands.
As outlined above, Rice is a top target for Blues boss Tuchel this summer and the news that he has turned down new deals with the Hammers could be music to the German’s ears.
Rice is under contract until the summer of 2024 at the London Stadium, meaning there is no immediate hurry for the Hammers to tie him down to a new deal.
However, it is clear that they want to keep him and fend off any interest. But the news that he has turned down two contract offers can only mean promising things for Chelsea and United.