Chelsea: The first six fixtures of the 2021/22 Premier League
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West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice has boosted Chelsea’s hopes of securing his services this summer by stating he’d like to play with three of the club’s players. The 22-year-old has shone for England at Euro 2020 after captaining West Ham to European football last season.
Rice’s stock is currently through the roof after an impressive 2020/21 season at club and international level.
According to reports, he has rejected two new contract offers from West Ham and is intrigued by the interest shown by Chelsea and Manchester United.
Rice’s close friendship with Chelsea star Mason Mount is well documented and would likely be a significant pull factor for a move to Stamford Bridge.
In the England camp, the duo recently partook in media duties together, where the conversation went in an interesting direction.
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Rice and Mount were the latest England stars to feature on Lions’ Den, a popular YouTube series hosted by Josh Denzel featuring Gareth Southgate’s squad.
The pair were asked to name a five-a-side team based on Chelsea and West Ham players and produced an exciting line-up:
Declan Rice, N’Golo Kante, Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, Michail Antonio.
When reacting to the team, Rice explained that he would love to play in a team including Kante, Mount and Havertz.
He said: “What a five-a-side that is. I’d pay great money to play in that.”
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With Man United seemingly set to pursue a cheaper alternative in Rennes’ Eduardo Camavinga, Chelsea may have a free run at Rice this summer.
West Ham have unsurprisingly set their prized asset’s valuation high to try and fend off suitors, but Thomas Tuchel is likely to receive backing.
After a phenomenal 2020 summer window, Chelsea won last season’s Champions League and will want to bolster the squad once more.
West Ham’s asking price for Rice has made a transfer challenging this summer, with clubs still feeling the effects of COVID-19.
The Hammers’ participation in the Europa League also gives Rice an incentive to stay around for one more season.
Chelsea’s interest in the defensive midfielder likely won’t fade if a move doesn’t come to fruition in the current transfer window.
Rice’s switch to Stamford Bridge is certainly one that’s easy to see happening in the future, with the player intrigued by the prospect.
It will now be interesting to see if Rice accepts a new deal at the London Stadium if West Ham improve the terms they’re offering.
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