Declan Rice to Tell West Ham He Wants to Leave for Chelsea Should Offer Arrive

Declan Rice will tell West Ham he wishes to join Chelsea if the Blues submit a bid for the midfielder - but the Hammers have no intention of selling their prized asset.

Rice progressed through the Chelsea academy but was released as a 14-year-old. He subsequently joined West Ham and has gone on to make over 100 appearances for the Hammers, establishing himself as one of the top flight's most reliable defensive midfielders and breaking into the England squad in the process.

The 21-year-old has been heavily linked with a return to his former club throughout the transfer window, with Chelsea considering him as a potential defensive option as part of a back three. But with the Blues already spending heavily and West Ham slapping an £80m asking price on Rice, a formal offer is yet to be submitted.

However, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano, should a bid come in, Rice will inform West Ham that he wishes to depart the club.

Speaking on the Here We Go podcast [via the Express], Romano said: "If you talk with West Ham, you have to be honest they're saying the player is staying and the player is not moving.

"It won't be easy and Chelsea are now considering selling players. But Declan Rice will push to join Chelsea. He will go strongly to join Chelsea. We will have to see what will happen because he also respects West Ham as normal but he's going to tell West Ham 'I want to join Chelsea'."

All that remains is for Chelsea to make a formal bid for the player, but as 90min revealed on Saturday, West Ham have informed the Blues that the defensive midfielder is not for sale, regardless of whether they meet their asking price.

Similarly, The Athletic's David Ornstein stated that West Ham selling Rice was now 'unthinkable' - especially given the stick the club received from fans and players alike for the sale of academy product Grady Diangana to West Brom.

Source : 90min