La Liga champions Real Madrid have reportedly joined Chelsea and Manchester City in the race to sign Declan Rice from West Ham United.
According to a report by Spanish outlet Defensa Central, Declan Rice has popped up on the radar of Real Madrid. The reigning La Liga champions will compete with Chelsea and Manchester City for the English international. And West Ham United will demand around €100 million to part ways with the player.
Declan Rice started his youth career at Chelsea, spending six years at Cobham before the west Londoners released him. The 23-year-old subsequently joined West Ham United in 2014 and made rapid progress at their academy. And he took just three years to make his first-team debut, earning his first cap as an 18-year-old.
Rice has since come leaps and bounds in the West Ham first team, becoming the club captain after Mark Noble’s retirement this year. At the same time, the player is a pivotal figure for the English national side and will play an instrumental role in the Three Lions’ campaign at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Meanwhile, his progress has alerted Real Madrid, Chelsea, and Manchester City.
Real Madrid will need to bring in at least two midfielders in the coming years to succeed Luka Modric and Toni Kroos. The two ageing midfielders have been tremendous assets for Los Blancos but are in the twilight of their careers. Declan Rice has thus emerged as a viable target for Real Madrid. While he has made his name as a holding midfielder, he is also an adept box-to-box option.
As for Chelsea, the Blues have been pursuing Rice since Frank Lampard’s tenure as the manager. Pundits and eminent journalists have backed the west Londoners to land the West Ham captain. And with Jorginho and N’Golo Kante being in the final year of their respective contracts, Chelsea can bring Rice in as a replacement for either player.
Meanwhile, Manchester City might be eyeing the English international as a potential replacement for Ilkay Gundogan. The Manchester City captain is in the final few months of his contract and is yet to pen a new deal. Recent reports have linked Gundogan with Barcelona, and the 23-year-old might be an option worth considering to replace him.
The young midfielder will not come cheap, with West Ham likely to demand €100 million to part ways with him. Meanwhile, Rice is not interested in signing a new contract with the Hammers. So a summer departure might be on the cards. Real Madrid, Chelsea, and Manchester City have the financial muscle to pay €100 million for Rice. And it will be interesting to see where he ends up.