Chelsea seemed closer than ever to sealing the services of long-term transfer target Declan Rice over the summer before a deal with West Ham failed a materialise.
Marina Granovskaia delayed the Blues’ pursuit of the Hammers midfielder until the end of this season following the east Londoners’ ‘steep’ £100 million evaluation, according to The Athletic.
Declan Rice continues to be shortlisted by his childhood side as a target but the Blues now face competition from Manchester United for the England international’s signature, as per The Independent.
But, Chelsea has inadvertently pulled out their secret weapon to prising Rice to Stamford Bridge following John Terry’s impromptu crowning of the utility man as the best in the world in his position.
Growing up in the Cobham setup alongside best friend and Chelsea star Mason Mount, the endorsement of former club legend and former captain may be enough to push the deal in Chelsea’s favour.
Jai Mcintosh was joined by football.london Chelsea correspondents Sam Inkersole and Adam Newson live on the Back Page Carefree Chelsea show to discuss the prospect of Rice returning to the Blues and whether the midfielder would strengthen Tuchel’s side.
“It’s taken far too long for lots of people to realise just how good he is,” he began. “It helps that West Ham are playing well, they’re being shown a lot more on TV now, a lot more exposure so people are seeing Declan Rice.
“Normally people were only seeing him in England games playing alongside Kalvin Phillips in that midfield two – still playing very well – but they weren’t seeing a lot of what he was doing at West Ham.
“I was watching him week in, week out, and I could tell you immediately that he was going to be world-class and I think he is world-class now.”
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Inkersole continued by detailing how Rice would not only bolster Tuchel’s starting eleven but also any other team in the world as well.
“There’s no question in my mind that he’s playing at a very, very, high elite level at the moment,” he added.
“The way Rice has improved his game with his ball-carrying, adding goals to his game. His positional spatial awareness is impeccable. He’s mobile, good in the air, dominant.
“I know I’m eulogising about him here but I think he’s that good he can play in any team in the world. If Chelsea wants to go back in for him – which I think they should do – this summer then it’s going to take a lot of money.
“I think he’d be worth every penny and if Chelsea did come back in for him then I’m pretty sure he’d want to come to Chelsea because he has some unfinished business.”