Chelsea may have finally received a huge boost in signing their long-term target Declan Rice. However, the Blues are not the only ones who are monitoring Rice for a possible move. Premier League giants Manchester United and Manchester City have also shown interest in signing Rice in the near future. But The Telegraph reports that Rice is clear over where he wants to play after West Ham. The English midfielder has chosen his boyhood club Chelsea over others.
Chelsea are long admirers of Rice and feel that he is the missing piece from their title charge. Their current crop of midfielders is delivering too, but the the Blues reportedly want the 23-year-old Rice to join the ranks. Kante has been troubled by injuries this season, and Jorginho pretty much inconsistent. Mateo Kovacic has burst into an impressive form but given Rice’s displays he is a cut above. Chelsea are head over heels to sign Declan Rice and now the reports too suggest that the player favors a move too.
Declan Rice only wants boyhood club Chelsea
Declan Rice was released by Chelsea’s academy in 2013 following which he joined West Ham’s. Rice quickly climbed up the ranks and made his full debut with the first-team of West Ham in 2017-18 season. He played a massive 31 games for the club that season, with 26 of those in the premier League. At just 23 years of age, he has already played 177 times for the Hammers. With Chelsea chasing him, transfer expert and football journalist Dean Jones while speaking to GIVEMESPORT confirmed, “From Chelsea’s point of view, they know that if Declan Rice had a choice of where to go, he would choose Chelsea”.
In an interview to Manchester United legend Gary Neville, Rice opened about his connection with Chelsea. “Growing up, the whole family was Chelsea. I feel like it’s out there, everyone knows, it’s well documented,” said Rice. Rice also had high praise for John Terry who was his role model growing up. “I speak to him a lot. I speak to him all the time really. For me growing up being a Chelsea fan, having a season ticket there, going to all the games, being in the academy. Just him, looking at him, everything was JT as a kid. JT 26 on the back. Even when I was younger I said if I make it I want to be No 26. But I feel like as I’ve got older now I’ve grown out of that. He was amazing for me when I got released as well, he picked up the phone – he didn’t have to. I was only 14 at the time and I was speaking to my idol – so yeah, we’ve got a good relationship.”
Chelsea line-up an alternative
Chelsea are one of the smartest minds when it comes to transfer markets. Though the Blues know Declan wants a Chelsea move only, they have kept another option ready in case a move doesn’t go through. This time Chelsea have turned their attention to French league to identify an alternative to Declan Rice. AS Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni is the one who is on Chelsea’s radar.
Tchouameni was a part of France’s Nations League winner, and has established himself as one of the hot prospects in last couple of seasons. Tchouameni has already racked up over 100 senior appearances at the top level, with 37 appearances at Bordeaux and 81 so far with AS Monaco. Moreover, Tchouameni’s talent has further won high praises from his national teammate Paul Pogba. “Very very good. He’s not a boy, he’s a man,” the Manchester United midfielder told Ouest-France. It was a pleasure to play next to him. He brings a lot of energy. A lot of energy, extraordinary technical and physical quality.” Tchouameni is currently valued at €40 million but Monaco reportedly want at least €60 million for their prized asset.
West Ham should pretty much brace up for the bids to arrive amidst growing competition for Rice. The Hammers know they have an absolute gem in their hands and have accordingly slapped a price tag on Rice. West Ham manager David Moyes has bluntly stated that ‘Rice’s price tag is already past €100 million’. It clearly indicates that Chelsea will have to splash a lot money for Rice whereas Tchouameni is comparatively an economic and quality option.