West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice is reportedly favouring a move to Chelsea over rivals Manchester United, amid interest from both clubs.
The defensive midfielder has been a regular fixture in the West Ham first-team over the last few seasons and has taken on the captain’s armband in the absence of club captain Mark Noble, despite being one of the younger members of David Moyes’ side.
The 21-year-old has developed into an impressive performer for both his club and his country, with his ball-winning ability and passing range making him one of the standout central midfielders in the Premier League.
Such eye-catching displays have inevitably triggered the attention of the top flight’s biggest clubs, with Chelsea and Manchester United, in particular, rumoured to be keen on making a move for the versatile youngster.
While both clubs are set to be interested, Rice seemingly has a clear preference, with the Mirror reporting that the player would prefer a move to the Blues, rather than to United.
Rice previously spent eight years in the Blues academy and played alongside the likes of current first-team stars Recce James and Mason Mount, before being released at the age of 14.
It now appears a return to Stamford Bridge is the most likely scenario, with both the player and the club keen on a reunion, as Frank Lampard looks to bolster his midfield.
The club currently have both Ngolo Kante and Jorginho as options in the holding midfield role, yet neither man has truly impressed so far this term, with Kante, in particular, producing displays well below his usual standard.
One potential stumbling block for the move could be the Hammers asking price, with it expected that they will demand over £80m for their key asset, in order to help reshape the squad in his absence.
As for United, they are currently well-stocked in the midfield area, although the likely exit of Paul Pogba this summer will trigger the need for a suitable replacement.