West Ham star Declan Rice’s whole career could be shaped in the next weeks – with Chelsea still intent on his signature.
The midfielder has become a staple for both West Ham and England in a brilliant year for the youngster.
At just 21, he has already made over 100 Premier League appearances.
Arguably, he is David Moyes’ most important player – fulfilling his role as midfield lynchpin with astonishing expertise at his age.
Almost all of West Ham’s play goes through Rice at some point and Frank Lampard is crying out for a player of that ilk.
The Blues boss dreams of putting the England international in his team despite a summer of lavish spending.
West Ham kept star midfielder Declan Rice in the transfer window from joining Chelsea
(Image: Getty Images)
Almost every area of the squad was improved, from striker to goalkeeper, but one man he did not land was a No. 6.
For all of Chelsea’s erratic defending, so much could be stopped if a proper defensive midfielder was propped up in front of them.
N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic simply do not possess the same attributes as Rice, who is calm in possession, reads danger expertly and is not afraid to spray balls forward.
But after successfully batting Chelsea away throughout the summer right up to deadline day, West Ham are determined to draw a line under the matter.
A new contract is being readied, with the aim of doubling his £60,000-a-week wages and extending his stay, where he currently contracted to 2024 – with a one-year extension option.
Declan Rice has been one of the best players for West Ham this season
If Rice puts pen to paper, it effectively ends any chance Chelsea have of signing him – unless they spend ridiculous money.
It is important to remember it is at Stamford Bridge started out as a footballer, though he was released at the age of 14.
But with a number of Chelsea academy stars…