The door could now be opening for Chelsea to sign Declan Rice ahead of Arsenal, with Mauricio Pochettino a huge fan of the West Ham captain.

According to 90min, the Hammers want £100m for their No.41 this summer.

Arsenal are said to be unsure about that asking price, which presents Chelsea with a chance to muscle in and pinch Declan Rice.

What’s the story?

Well, it is said that the Gunners are confident of signing the England international this summer, but the £100m price tag could be a sticking point.

Contrastingly, Chelsea – who have shown they are not afraid to spend big – could shove Arsenal out of the way by simply paying what West Ham are demanding, no questions asked.

90min state that the Hammers will only do business if they receive a £100m bid, or else a move will not happen.

Pochettino is believed to view Rice as a major upgrade on Chelsea’s current midfield options, and is said to have already expressed his admiration of the 24-year-old in talks with the Blues.

chelsea arsenal rice
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

The London-born midfielder is also attracting interest from Bayern Munich and Manchester City, although the Bavarians and the Citizens are not as interested as Arsenal and Chelsea seem to be.

Rice has made 48 appearances in all competitions for West Ham this season, scoring five goals while also providing four assists as he captains the Irons to the UEFA Europa Conference League final.

Chelsea will need to make sales quickly if they are to beat Arsenal to Rice

By the sounds of it, Chelsea are not currently in a strong enough position financially to sanction a £100m bid for Rice.

The Athletic believe sales are needed before June 30th in order to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations, so Todd Boehly may have to offload the likes of Christian Pulisic, Romelu Lukaku, Conor Gallagher and others before he can think about challenging Arsenal for the West Ham talisman.

Of course, Chelsea could move for Rice and then think about sales later, although that might backfire if the Blues fail to successfully offload the players they want to sell.

Nevertheless, Rice would be a sensational way to kick off the Pochettino era, so be sure to keep an eye on developments.

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