England: Declan Rice and Ben Chilwell show skills in training
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Chelsea may have to break the bank to sign Declan Rice from West Ham this summer if David Moyes has anything to say about it, but the Blues may have a way of pulling off a deal still. Chelsea had strong interest in signing Declan Rice last summer, but opted against making an official bid having already spent close to £250million elsewhere.
Rice was reported to be a top target for Frank Lampard, but Thomas Tuchel may well still want to bring in another central midfielder.
The former Paris Saint-Germain boss has tinkered around with his midfield in his first few months in charge and is yet to settle on his favoured three.
Mason Mount is almost a guaranteed starter further forward, but it’s further back where Tuchel is yet to make a final decision.
Rice has proven once again this season how valuable he is to West Ham with the England international playing a key role in their success so far.
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The Hammers are currently in the fight for a top four spot and look set for their best finish in the Premier League since 1999.
Rice’s performances this season has seen Hammers co-owner David Sullivan reportedly increase the midfielder’s price tag to £100m.
But Moyes believes the 22-year-old is worth far more than what is being reported.
He said: “I don’t agree with the owners that Declan Rice is a £100m footballer. Far, far more than £100m. Far, far more.
“I look at the players who have joined some clubs from overseas and come in and nowhere near had the impact Declan Rice would have.
“I certainly wouldn’t put a price on it. You can decide which figure you want to put on it but I wouldn’t be sanctioning anything like that, that’s for sure.”
That would mean Chelsea will have to smash their club record transfer fee to land Rice, who left the Blues as a teenager in 2014.
But they may well have the money to make a viable offer to test West Ham’s resolve at the very least with a bunch of players expected to leave.
Kepa Arrizabalaga and Fikayo Tomori both face uncertain futures at the club, with the latter currently on loan at AC Milan who have a £26m option to buy the defender at the end of the season.
The Spanish goalkeeper is valued at £15m, according to Transfermarkt, and Chelsea look set to cut their losses this summer.
Tiemoue Bakayoko, Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are also currently out on loan and have a combined value of £67m.
And Emerson Palmieri is almost certain to leave Stamford Bridge, who is valued at £13m.
That would give Chelsea roughly £120m if those six players are sold at market value while even more departures are expected as Tuchel begins to build his own squad.
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