‘Key time’ for Chelsea to ‘sound out’ move for target ‘on the player side’

One reporter believes that now is the perfect time for Chelsea to lay down the groundwork ahead of a potential next transfer saga that they will be involved in this summer.

It’s been a story that has been around for a long time now, but this summer we might finally see a conclusion to this saga at least. I’m sure Chelsea will be involved in many more sagas after that, as they seem to always be, but at least this one will soon conclude either way.

We are of course speaking about Chelsea’s interest in West Ham and England midfielder, Declan Rice, who is always a topic of conversation. He’s expected to finally leave The Hammers in the summer and make his big move, with Chelsea and Arsenal named as the two clubs who will be pushing the most.

Reporter Ben Jacobs of Si & Dan Talk Chelsea has the latest on it in his exclusive latest column on the site this week.

He says: “The race for Declan Rice is still relatively open with Arsenal and Chelsea expected to lead it. Don’t rule out Manchester United or Newcastle, though. I have always been told Rice’s priority is to stay in London, but it won’t necessarily be a deal breaker.

“Both clubs [Arsenal and Chelsea] have had a long-standing interest in Rice, so he is indeed a Chelsea priority, but West Ham quoted such astronomical numbers last summer – well in excess of  £100m – that a deal was never going to be possible.

“Now is a key time to make approaches on the player side and sound out the mood since West Ham are resigned to losing Rice in summer.

“Chelsea, like other suitors, hope Rice is available on the market for £70-80m. I think Chelsea stand a chance for Rice, more so than Jude Bellingham.”

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