As the Premier League season winds down, the transfer rumor mill has heated right up. With Championship Sunday less than a week away now, it’s time to cast an eye at the player movement market.
There is no shortage of rumors when it comes to the transfer market. Follow this series throughout the summer as I look at the likelihood of some of the transfer rumors doing the rounds and whether I think they will work out.
Declan Rice’s career has gone from strength to strength in recent years. The West Ham United man is a shoo-in to take the captain’s armband from club legend Mark Noble next season. If he stays.
His numbers speak for themselves. He has made 49 appearances across all competitions for the Hammers this season. The Irons talisman was instrumental in their sensational Europa League run this season. By being such a world-class operator, Declan Rice is a name that is bandied about as a potential transfer target. The move to a ‘big club’ seems inevitable. It must be so annoying for West Ham fans the world over to hear this kind of rhetoric. Especially when he’s consistently linked to Manchester United.
And if you are one of those West Ham fans, consider this a trigger warning.
The latest big club linked to the signing of Declan Rice is Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side. The German gaffer is apparently a huge fan of the midfielder and is his number one target this off-season. His hopes of having his transfer wish granted have been boosted by the noises coming from the club’s new owner, Todd Boehly. The American billionaire has agreed to a £4.25 billion deal to buy the west London club and is expected to push for A-list signings.
If Boehly is to push through this particular ‘A-list signing’, he’d better be willing to splash the cash. West Ham boss David Moyes slapped a £150 million price tag on the former Chelsea academy player in the last off-season. I think Moyes would want even more given the season Declan Rice has just had.
Declan Rice himself has been non-committal about his future at the club. He recently rejected a mammoth new 8-year deal at the London Stadium.
LIKELIHOOD – 50%
I don’t know if this likelihood should be higher. That’s because I just want Rice to stay at the Hammers. I feel they are on the verge of something special. Whether that’s a cup run or an incredible league season, I’m not too sure. What I am sure of is if they sell all their top-line talent, that simply won’t happen.
Money talks, though. And if the new ownership hits the magic number that West Ham is looking for, Rice will be a Blue next season.
Stuart Kavanagh is an up-and-coming sports journalist from Melbourne, Australia. Along with being the owner of the sports and entertainment website thepyrrhic.com, he is also the co-host of the ‘After Extra Time’ podcast. Football mad, he is always down for debate and discussion at @stueyissickofit on Twitter.