Arsenal star Declan Rice ‘wanted Chelsea move’ following new bombshell

Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice wanted to join Chelsea ahead of his transfer to the Gunners last summer, a former Blues coach claims

Declan Rice acknowledges the Arsenal fans after his team's Premier League game against Chelsea in October 2023.

Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice was keen on a move to Chelsea before signing for the Gunners, a former Blues coach has claimed.

Rice came through the youth system at Chelsea and was released by the west London club before going on to establish himself as one of the best players in the country during his time at West Ham.

The England midfielder was wanted by a number of clubs last summer, but ended up signing for Arsenal in a club-record £105 million deal.

Speaking to William Hill and Footy Accumulators’ No Tippy Tappy Football, former Chelsea assistant Jody Morris said: “I messaged Declan Rice when I was at Chelsea, and I asked him whether he’d come back, even after being released by the club.

“He was a centre-half back then and there were a lot of people who said he shouldn’t have been released when he was, but in hindsight it was probably the best thing for him considering all the amazing things he went on do at West Ham.

 “I was always on Frank Lampard’s case saying how unbelievable Rice would be for us when N’Golo Kante kept getting injured and he wasn’t sure at first, but a month later he was all over him! So, we reached out to Declan on whether he’d want to come back and he said: ‘I’m a Chelsea fan, of course I would!’

“And from then on Lampard was speaking to him and the upstairs members at the club were talking to his parents. In the end it got put on the backburner in favour of a couple of other signings.”

Rice ultimately ended up at Arsenal as Chelsea spent big money to sign Moises Caicedo from Brighton, but Morris believes the Blues could have signed the England midfielder for a lower fee a year earlier.

“I didn’t end up going through, but at the time they were quoting around £60-65 million so that would’ve been a steal for someone who could have easily been at the club for 10 years,” he said.

“For me, Rice is top-drawer and I’m so excited about the England midfield we have at the minute. Rice has shown his worth in an England shirt and for West Ham and now at Arsenal with a better team and he’s performing week in week out.”

 

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