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Declan Rice’s stance on Chelsea transfer this summer as West Ham make ‘internal’ decision



Chelsea have long been credited with a desire to bring Declan Rice back to Stamford Bridge.

Declan Rice has reportedly made it clear to West Ham that he intends to leave the club in order to play Champions League football elsewhere, with Chelsea and Manchester United among those keen on snapping him up next summer. Rice will be out of contract in 2024 as things stand and is yet to sign a new deal at the London Stadium, leading to speculation that his days are numbered with the Hammers after emerging as one of the Premier League’s standout midfielders over the last few years.

The England midfielder has long been linked with a return to Chelsea after spending time in the club’s academy ranks, with the Blues thought to be interested in bringing him back to Stamford Bridge at some point in the not-too-distant future. It seems as though Rice would entertain the idea of rejoining the west Londoners if they manage to qualify for next season’s Champions League after informing West Ham that he would like to try his luck in Europe’s premier club competition, according to The Athletic.

It is said that Rice has told the Hammers on several occasions that he will not be signing a new contract before his current deal expires, with the club now resigned to losing him at the end of the current campaign. It will represent their final chance to recoup a sizeable transfer fee in exchange for his services and those in power at the London Stadium have conceded internally that Rice is now entering the final months of his spell on their books.

West Ham have tried to tempt Rice into a change of heart over the last few months but he is still adamant that his future lies elsewhere in spite of their best efforts to convince him to stay. He would like to depart on amicable terms, though, and will not submit a transfer request to force through an exit as a result of his immense respect for his current employers.

Declan Rice is reportedly hoping to leave West Ham in the summer
Declan Rice is reportedly hoping to leave West Ham in the summer (Image: GETTY)

Rice’s stock has grown in recent weeks due to his impressive performances at the World Cup and it seems likely that West Ham will attempt to hold out for a nine-figure transfer fee in the summer, but it remains to be seen how the situation will play out between now and the start of next season. The Hammers are said to appreciate Rice’s honesty in admitting his desire to play Champions League football and are not expected to stand in his way if a suitable offer is tabled, although a January exit has already been firmly ruled out.

Chelsea are said to be worried about the prospect of Rice joining either Manchester United or Manchester City, with both sides thought to be keen on snapping him up ahead of the Blues next year. They have already been urged to go all out in their efforts to secure his signature by former England midfielder Danny Murphy, who believes that Rice has what it takes to serve as a ready-made replacement for N’Golo Kante at Stamford Bridge.

A number of Premier League clubs are said to be tracking Rice's situation in east London
A number of Premier League clubs are said to be tracking Rice’s situation in east London (Image: EXPRESS)

“There’s a simple solution for Chelsea moving forward, looking to the future, which is you’ve got one of the best holding players in Declan Rice,” Murphy told talkSPORT.

“He loves Chelsea. He’s the one to take his role, he’s capable and would be there for the rest of his career. They’ll have to bite the bullet and pay whatever it is. That’s the solution to replace Kante. I imagine if he’d be staying then it’d be done.

“I very rarely see a player get to the last year of his contract. The lad at Villa [Douglas] Luiz did it and just signed a new one. Players of Kante’s ilk, he might want to go home, whatever. He might have another option. You know how good he is. It would be done if he was saying.”

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