Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has reportedly reignited the club’s interest in West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice. Tuchel could target Rice this summer in what is expected to be an active transfer window for the European champions.
Chelsea have had a reported long-standing interest in Rice, who has shone once again for West Ham this season.
The 22-year-old was crucial for David Moyes’ side when fit this season, starting all 32 games when he was available.
He captained West Ham for most of the campaign on their way to securing Europa League qualification with a sixth-place finish.
Rice has unsurprisingly been the subject of mass transfer speculation, though, with Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United reportedly all suitors.
The ever-reliable Fabrizio Romano provided Chelsea fans with a promising update on the recent episode of The Here We Go Podcast.
Romano reports that Chelsea have commenced talks for Rice, with the England international on Tuchel’s list of potential signings.
He said: “Declan Rice is still on the list of Chelsea. I can confirm that they are still in talks with people close to Declan Rice.
“He was one of the first targets for Frank Lampard, now there is Tuchel, but the club are still thinking of moving on Declan Rice. Let’s see what West Ham will answer about the price.
“So, we are still at the start of the talks, but Chelsea are still thinking on Declan Rice as a potential new signing as a midfielder.
“There is still no agreement, still nothing advanced, but on the list there is the name of Declan Rice.”
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As Romano stated, Frank Lampard was a big fan of Rice before Chelsea sacked him as manager and brought Tuchel in as his replacement.
Speculation then went cold, but it would appear like the German boss could be eyeing his services for the 2021/22 campaign.
West Ham but undoubtedly fight to keep hold of their poster boy, and his contribution to a memorable season just gone provides enough reasoning to do so.
The Hammers prospered with Rice in the team, but lost three of the six league games he missed in April and May through a knee injury.
It was a successful campaign, but Moyes could have led his side to Champions League football had his No 41 remained unscathed.
After missing out on the top four by two points, it was a tale of ‘what if’ for West Ham, despite the rightful jubilance over their league finish.
Rice now heads into Euro 2020 as a surefire starter for Gareth Southgate’s England side.
The 16-cap ace could boost his stock further by playing an essential role in a successful tournament for the Three Lions.