Chelsea ‘plot’ move for ‘box-office’ Arsenal target – two players will leave to ‘facilitate new addition’

Lewis Oldham
Chelsea to move for Rice

Chelsea are reportedly ‘plotting’ a move for ‘another big-money midfielder’ ahead of this summer and they are interested in Arsenal target Declan Rice.

The West Ham United midfielder is expected to leave the club this summer as the player is ready to play for a club competing in the Champions League. 

Rice has consistently been one of the best midfielders in the Premier League over the past couple of seasons and he deserves a move to one of the league’s top teams.

A switch to Chelsea has consistently been discussed as he had a spell with the London outfit as an academy player before he joined West Ham.

This is while Arsenal have reportedly identified him as a top target ahead of the summer transfer window.

Chelsea paid around £106m to sign Enzo Fernandez last month but Football Insider are reporting that they are still ‘plotting a raid for a ‘box-office midfield signing’.

The Blues are ‘keen to bolster in midfield’ and the report adds that Conor Gallagher and Ruben Loftus-Cheek ‘could make way to facilitate new additions’.

Rice is a ‘target’ for Chelsea as he is reportedly seen as a ‘leader’ and someone who would be a ‘long term mainstay’ in Graham Potter’s team.

Arsenal are ‘leading the race for his signature’ and while Rice has an ‘open mind’ about his future, he is ‘keen’ to remain in London.

It has been suggested that Rice could cost as much as £120m this summer and ex-Tottenham man Jamie O’Hara thinks he is “a little bit overrated”.

“I think Declan Rice is a little bit overrated, to be honest. He is a brilliant player, I really like him, but he is playing for West Ham; Enzo Fernandez has won the World Cup, so you can see where his price tag comes from. Rice is brilliant, but not on that level. Will he break the British transfer record? I don’t think so,” O’Hara said.

“If Chelsea sign Rice and have two central midfielders for over £100 million, and they don’t win the Premier League title, I will be amazed.

“Chelsea have spent all of this money on Enzo Fernandez and Mykhailo Mudryk, all of these players for £600 million, and now they are going to bring in Declan Rice?!”

O’Hara added: “I don’t know what their (Chelsea) plan is. I think the owner is playing Football Manager, I don’t care what anyone says. They say there is a plan in place and that they are excited about the future.

“They have players on prison sentences in the team, they have nine-year contracts; it’s ridiculous. Declan Rice probably will go there, but how many more do they need? £200 million for those two central midfielders? I’d rather have Claude Makelele and N’Golo Kante when he is fit.”

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