Chelsea are keeping a close eye on the status of the West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, who could leave the club when his deal expires in 2020, and retain a strong interest in bringing about the return of a player they allowed to leave their academy as a teenager, according to reports from Metro this morning.
The 19-year-old midfielder, who has established himself in Manuel Pellegrini’s Hammers side with some assured displays, is claimed by that outlet to be on a relatively meagre £3,000 p/w wage for a player of his status, and an offer of an improved deal around the £20,000 p/w mark from his club has been turned down by the player.
Now a danger to the Hammers’ possession of the talented youngster has emerged from the far side of London, with Chelsea reportedly willing to offer double the weekly salary to Rice than his current club have so far.
Should negotiations between West Ham and Rice fail to progress, the club will of course have to countenance selling him this summer to avoid the financial pinch of having him leave for nothing when his deal winds down a year later.
Rice spent seven years at the Blue’s academy but was released by them as a 14-year-old. He has been part of a well-publicised international love triangle in recent months, with both the Republic of Ireland and England national teams, both of which he is eligible to represent, vying for a commitment over his future in that sphere from him.
The latest news does seem to indicate that he’s leaning towards declaring himself available to Gareth Southgate for selection.
A coveted talent, he might well find himself in the middle of another tug-of-war at club level too.
77% pass accuracy
1 key pass
4 tackles won
1 aerial won
Another superb game. West Ham have their own N'Golo Kanté. One of the best DMs in the Premier League this season. 🔨