Manchester United have identified the long-term goal of Chelsea and West Ham’s Declan Rice as a “prime midfielder target” for next year, according to reports.
The midfielder has been in great shape this season for West Ham and could be close to pulling away from the Hammers next summer.
According to Manchester Evening News, Chelsea have received a heavy blow in their pursuit of the 22-year-old, with Rice having been identified as the main midfield target for Manchester United.
It was previously reported that Chelsea are monitoring Rice’s situation at the east London club, with his contract expiring in 2024.
Rice has been offered new terms by the Irons twice this year amid interest from across the Premier League, but has rejected them both.
Despite Manchester United’s interest in Rice, it has been reported that Manchester City and Chelsea have also shown interest, with the latter making Rice a ‘top priority’ for next summer – a boost for the team by Thomas Tuchel.
West Ham had a valuation of around £ 100million for Rice which is believed to be the reason Chelsea were pushed back during the summer transfer window, opting instead on a loan from Saul Niguez with an option to buy with Atletico Madrid.
It remains to be seen where Rice ends up, but if Saul’s loan is not made permanent, expect Chelsea to be in the race to sign the England star.
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