Declan Rice told he would ‘thrive’ at Chelsea amid interest from Arsenal in West Ham captain

Declan Rice told he would ‘thrive’ at Chelsea amid interest from Arsenal in West Ham captain

Declan Rice has been encourgaed to join Chelsea should he leave West Ham as expected this summer.

The Hammers have reluctantly accepted they will likely lose their captain at the end of the season, though intend on holding out for a fee well in excess of £100million. Arsenal are believed to be currently leading the race, with Rice open to the move.

Chelsea have previously been seen as the favourites to land Rice once he leaves the London Stadium, with the 24-year-old spending eight years as the club’s academy.

However, they are more focused on other targets, particularly Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo, while league leaders Arsenal have become an increasingly attractive prospect as they continue to impress this season.

Liverpool have at times been linked with Rice too, with the Reds desperately needing midfield reinforcements, though Jude Bellingham appears to be a more likely option.

Rice has previously made it clear he wants to be playing in the Champions League, but Tony Cascarino believes the midfielder would have a huge impact on Chelsea should he be willing to sacrifice that ambition next season.

“Chelsea is where Rice could thrive and are a team who need a deep midfielder,” Cascarino wrote for The Times.

“I see a side that needs balancing — they have amazing wingbacks in Reece James and Ben Chilwell, and Rice would allow them to be aggressive in the final third.

“But I also see, with Rice, a new modification. Alongside Conor Gallagher, who does the running and attacking, Mateo Kovacic, who dribbles well and is smooth in possession, and then Rice, that is a great mix of skills.

“But Rice would have to decide whether he is willing to miss out on the Champions League next season.”