Frank Leboeuf slammed Chelsea for letting Declan Rice leave early in his career, which could come back to bite the Blues in the coming years.

Declan Rice is one of the sought-after midfielders in world football and will cost a huge transfer fee. The England international has developed into a fine player since joining West Ham United after he was released from Chelsea at a tender age.

Rice is now the defacto midfield general for England and West Ham over the years and is now bigged up for a huge transfer away from the London Stadium. The Hammers were adamant about not letting him leave last summer when some big clubs supposedly were willing to pay huge sums to secure the star.

The Hammers were confident of keeping Rice at the club for the foreseeable future and even offered a huge contract throughout the summer. The reported deal was worth a staggering 8 years, with wages needing to be deemed better for the contract offered.

As things stand, there is still tremendous interest in Rice from some of the biggest clubs in England, including Chelsea, Manchester United, and Manchester City. The Blues are considered front runners by a mile, having made their interest clear for some years.

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The Blues have seen many enquiries snubbed by the Hammers over the years. With news that Rice may not sign a new contract at West Ham, Chelsea are already plotting a move in January, but David Moyes is unlikely to sanction any move in the middle of the season.

Former Blues star Frank Leboeuf suggests it was a big mistake by Chelsea to let the midfielder depart as a youngster, which may come back to bite them. His comments appeared on Caughtoffside, as Leboeuf thinks Rice is the future of English football.

Leboeuf said, “Declan Rice really is the future of England. Chelsea made a huge, huge mistake in letting him go all those years ago.”

Recent reports suggest Rice could be signed for around £70 million, although West Ham are likely to demand significantly more for their star man.

Rice has set the tone for West Ham over the years while becoming a regular for England and cementing his position in Gareth Southgate’s midfield.

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