Chelsea's 2022-23 Premier League fixtures
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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is reportedly hoping to make a breakthrough in the Blues slow transfer business by urging the board to sign Declan Rice. Tuchel is yet to see a new arrival be welcomed into his squad, despite seeing Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Romelu Lukaku all depart Stamford Bridge, though Raheem Sterling is close to becoming Chelsea player.
The German has taken his side out to America for a pre-season tour, but is being forced to work with exactly the same squad as last season, minus those departed players. That is despite the club having been taken over by Todd Boehly at the end of May, with the American assuming control of transfers alongside Tuchel.
A number of areas need to be strengthened if Chelsea are to build on their third-place finish last term. According to The Guardian, one of the positions Tuchel is keen to boost is in midfield, where he hopes to make at least one signing.
While the German is said to ‘remain interested’ in Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong, the Blues are thought to be behind Manchester United in that race. That is leading Tuchel to look at other targets, one of whom is Rice.
It is stated that Tuchel could soon look to urge Chelsea’s board to make a bid for the England international this summer. But an expected reluctance from West Ham to sell their star midfielder would make such a move ‘highly difficult’.
Rice has starred for the Hammers, assuming the captain’s armband for much of last season as they reached the semi-finals of the Europa League. He is widely seen as being one of the best midfielders in the Premier League after his starring role under David Moyes.
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That has led to an increasing amount of interest in him, particularly from Chelsea and United. The 23-year-old is thought to be a long-term target of the Blues, having originally been part of their academy before leaving for West Ham.
But he still has two years left on his contract at the London Stadium, with the Hammers holding the option of extending that by a further 12 months. Their current stance is to refuse a sale, which will make any deal extremely hard to negotiate.
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