Fabrizio Romano has suggested that there is a ‘good chance’ that Chelsea target Declan Rice will leave West Ham United next summer.
Rice was previously with Chelsea as an academy player but he was let go before he could make his senior debut.
West Ham were quick to pick him up and he has already surpassed the expectations that were initially placed upon him.
The 23-year-old is mature and he is already a leader for West Ham and England. He has been key as the Hammers have made an impact in Europe in recent seasons.
West Ham managed to keep him at the club in the summer after suggesting that he would only be let go if a £150m bid arrives.
His current deal is up in 2024 but West Ham have an option to automatically extend his contract by a further year until 2025.
So they will still be able to demand a huge fee for Rice next summer, but you imagine it will be a more affordable figure than £150m.
The Telegraph’s Matt Law predicted on Tuesday morning that West Ham will take around £70m for their prized asset.
Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has not named a price for Rice but he thinks there is a ‘good chance’ he will move on in 2023.
Romano has also suggested that a potential move for Ajax’s Edson Alvarez could remain ‘difficult’.
‘I reported last summer that Declan Rice was not going to sign a new deal with West Ham and this is still the case; no agreement, so there are good chances for Declan to leave in the summer,’ Romano wrote for Caught Offside.
‘I’m not sure about the price tag yet, as West Ham have not decided and they still feel strong on the price having an option to extend the contract for one more year.
‘Edson Alvarez is also one of the players Chelsea appreciate, but talks are not ongoing now. It’s been quiet since August but I’m sure that in 2023 many clubs will keep an eye on him in the Premier League.
‘Chelsea tried to sign him in the summer but Ajax were clear they did not want to sell, and it could remain a difficult deal.’
Rice’s childhood friend – Mason Mount – may have a role to play in the West Ham star’s potential move to Chelsea.
But Mount has his own future to resolve in the meantime as his contract is up in 2024.
He has been linked with Liverpool in recent days but Romano says Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly ‘really wants’ to keep Mount.
Romano added: ‘In other Chelsea news, I’m told there are still negotiations ongoing between Chelsea and Mason Mount.
‘Many of the rumours on salary offer and similar have been denied by sources close to both Chelsea and the player. It’s still an open negotiation and Todd Boehly really wants Mount to stay. Let’s see in the next weeks.’
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