Chelsea are still interested in a summer move for West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice, claims Fabrizio Romano, but now face competition from Arsenal and Manchester United. The Blues are expected to have a busy summer transfer window after having already spent a major amount of money on transfers under their new owners.
Chelsea Face Arsenal and Manchester United Competition for Declan Rice Signing
Chelsea Aiming to Compete for Rice Transfer
The London giants have already proven how they are ready to pay major funds for quality players, having broken their club transfer record to rope in Enzo Fernandez from Benfica in the January transfer window.
Romano adds that the Blues are still eager to compete for the Englishman’s signing, but will face major competition for him. It’s stated that Arsenal are also “hoping to make a bid for [Rice] in the coming weeks” as they aim to sign the defensive midfielder as well.
It’s also added that West Ham are not keen to negotiate a deal yet, as they’re focused on trying to end their season strongly. The Hammers want to focus on possibly winning the UEFA Europa Conference League and breaking their lengthy trophy drought at the end of the season, after which they’ll discuss Rice’s future.
Arsenal Consider Rice as Top Summer Target; Manchester United Also Interested
Romano claims that the Gunners have already earmarked Rice as their top summer transfer target and they are prioritizing his acquisition. Moreover, it’s stated that the Gunners have already had conversations with the 24-year-old over a possible move, with their manager Mikel Arteta and sporting director Edu already discussing his signing from way back in January.
That is why Arsenal are aiming to launch their opening offer for him quickly, but West Ham are not willing to negotiate a transfer anytime soon. It’s also added that Rice has already notified the Hammers that he will not sign a contract extension with them and wishes to leave. Romano states that not only Chelsea – but Manchester United are also among the interested parties and are keeping an eye on the Englishman’s situation.
That means Chelsea not only faces stiff competition from two Premier League rivals in United and Arsenal, but they could be at a disadvantage due to a lack of European football next season.
Rice, who was hailed as ‘fantastic’ by Bournemouth manager Gary O’Neil earlier this season, is rumoured to be earning wages of around £60,000-a-week at West Ham and has made 46 appearances for them this season – scoring four goals and providing as many assists.