Declan Rice is a Chelsea boy.
Born in Kingston upon Thames, a Borough in both London and Surrey, he joined the Chelsea academy as a seven-year-old. Already at the club was a Mason Mount.
Mount and Rice “hit it off straight away” and remained really close as they went through the age groups. At 14, Rice was released and quickly joined West Ham.
The expectation for some time is the Rice would likely end up back at Chelsea.
Since making his debut for the Hammers in 2017, he has become a World Class defensive midfielder. Up there with the likes of Thomas Partey, Casemiro and Rodri.
Rice still lives on the Surrey / London borders and is a member of the Kingswood Golf Club. The club is around 11 miles from Chelsea’s Cobham Academy.
Going back to his boyhood club, to play with his best mate, a stones throw from where he lives. It looked the perfect move for Rice. But that has potentailly been soured with what is happening with Mount.
Mount is currently in contract dispute with Chelsea.
His current deal ends in 2024, and Mount was reportedly hoping to treble his wages to £240,000 a week; similar to what Reece James is reportadly on
The Englishman is not in Chelsea’s top 20 highest earners, despite being named their Player of the Year in 2020/21 and 2021/22 – the last two seasons. Mount rejected an offer of around £200,000 per week back in November.
With a bloated 33-man squad, Chelsea will need to get rid of some players in the summer. With his contract dispute, Mount could be one of those to leave. There will be no shortage of suitors with both Arsenal and Liverpool considering a move.
Despite signing Enzo Fernandez, Chelsea still need midfielders. And that requirement will become more crucial if Mount leaves. Rice will still be on their shortlist.
From Declan Rice’s point of view, playing with Mount again was a huge reason to return to Chelsea. With things turning sour, his boyhood club may no longer be as attractive.
Would you join an employer who had recently treated your best poorly, leaving them to leave? Probably not.
With everything considered, Arsenal look to be in pole position in the race for Rice. And what is happening with Mount only strengthens our opinion.
Finaly thought: Should we also chase Mason Mount?
We all would like to live in a kind and moral world. Unfortunately, we dont. Chelsea and Man City poached many talented players and destroyed their career. And they did that with a blank cheque. More often, these rich benefactors are from a society far away and their way of life will never be accepted in Western society. But then again, here we are with Chelsea under American ownership model that will put a Chinese business model to shame. Crazy times.
Massive fan of Rice, love his attitude. He`s a winner who would be perfect for us. Not so keen on Mount, decent player but his wage demands are crazy and I`m not sure where he`d fit into our team. I can`t see Rice letting his friendship with him getting in the way of his next move. He strikes me as a really ambitious footballer who wants to play on the biggest stage. If it comes down to a choice between us and Chelsea, despite being a chav as a kid, I reckon he`ll see us as a better option moving forward.
I`m not someone who gets overly excited about being linked to players but I must admit that I`m very keen on seeing Rice in Red & White. Would rather have him than Bellingham, think he`s comfortably the best English midfielder out there. I reckon he could even take this team to another level again. It would be a proper statement signing.
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