Chelsea learn Declan Rice asking price as Thomas Tuchel ‘discusses move with staff’

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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is discussing the prospect of signing Declan Rice from West Ham United, according to reports. But the Hammers are believed to have put a huge price on the central midfielder’s head.

Rice played all seven of England’s matches at Euro 2020, impressing with his consistently solid performances at the base of Gareth Southgate’s midfield.

Chelsea were already known admirers of the West Ham midfielder, and Tuchel is still pushing the club to make a bid for the 22-year-old.

But a report in The Athletic claims that the Hammers value their midfielder at £100million, a fee that could be prohibitive even for Chelsea.

The European Champions are looking to add a midfield anchor who can also play as a centre-half in a back-three, and Tuchel believes that Rice fits the mould perfectly.

But Chelsea transfer chiefs are yet to agree to Tuchel’s request to stump up for Rice.

Chelsea already have one of the strongest squads in Europe, with strength in depth across the starting eleven.

But their German coach believes that there is always room for new additions if they are of sufficient quality.

“Two or three [signings] could be very, very good. It’s a constant thing to never deny change,” Tuchel said earlier this summer.

“That always brings new energy, new guys who question the old beliefs, who challenge everybody in the training and in matches, so I think it’s a good thing.”

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In addition to Rice, Chelsea have also been heavily linked with adding an out-and-out striker to their squad, with Erling Haaland, Robert Lewandowski and Harry Kane rumoured to be of interest.

“We don’t need another seven and another complete turnover because it’s also our job to keep on improving,” Tuchel said.

“We have still a young squad and it’s not about stealing from them the chance to prove it again, that they are capable of growing and evolving.

“But we have some ideas, of course, to make the group stronger, and I think this can always be a positive thing to challenge all of us.”

If Rice does make his mega-money move to Stamford Bridge then he will not face his former club until December, with the first meeting of the season between West Ham and Chelsea scheduled for 4 December.

The Blues will start the new season with a home game against Crystal Palace before a tough opening run of matches.

Tuchel’s side face two more London derbies early in the campaign, Arsenal away on the second weekend and Spurs away in mid-September, with fixtures against Liverpool and Manchester also coming in the opening six rounds of the season.

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