Chelsea report: Graham Potter gives green light to deal for highly-rated midfielder

Chelsea boss Graham Potter instructs his new players against Red Bull Salzburg
(Image credit: Getty)

Chelsea remain interested in signing Declan Rice, according to reports, after Graham Potter replaced Thomas Tuchel as their manager earlier this month.

The Blues have been linked with a move for the England international for several years, stretching back to Frank Lampard's time at the club.

Tuchel was known to be an admirer of the West Ham (opens in new tab) captain, who could leave his current employers next summer.

Declan Rice is still on Chelsea's radar despite their chance of manager

(Image credit: Getty)

According to the Daily Telegraph (opens in new tab), Chelsea (opens in new tab) are still keen to acquire Rice, with Potter prepared to give the green light to the deal.

The west Londoners are expected to sign at least two new midfielders ahead of next season, with Jorginho and N'Golo Kante both out of contract at the end of the current campaign.

Rice, who used to be on Chelsea's books as a teenager before being released, is thought to be open to a move to Stamford Bridge.

Manchester United (opens in new tab) and Manchester City (opens in new tab) have also been linked with the 23-year-old, who has been valued at £150m by West Ham boss David Moyes.

But Chelsea hope that their London location will appeal to Rice, who was born and raised in the capital.

David Moyes, Manager of West Ham United gives their team instructions during the UEFA Europa Conference League group B match between West Ham United and FCSB at London Stadium on September 08, 2022 in London, England.

(Image credit: Steve Bardens – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

However, it remains to be seen whether the Blues have the funds to pursue both Rice and Jude Bellingham at the same time.

Reports suggest Chelsea are poised to step up their efforts to win the race for the in-demand Borussia Dortmund (opens in new tab) man.

Several other Premier League sides are interested in Bellingham, though, with Real Madrid (opens in new tab) among his overseas admirers.

Chelsea return to Premier League action against Crystal Palace next weekend

(Image credit: Getty)

Meanwhile, Potter will take charge of his first Premier League game as Chelsea boss against Crystal Palace (opens in new tab) on Saturday.

Chelsea have failed to win three of their first six top-flight fixtures this term and go into the weekend eight points adrift of Arsenal (opens in new tab) in top spot - although they do have a game in hand on their London rivals.

More Chelsea stories

Richarlison has revealed (opens in new tab) that he chose Tottenham over Chelsea in the summer, thanks to an intervention by former Blues boss Antonio Conte.

The club are also keen to bolster their midfield in the winter window, with Aston Villa's Douglas Luiz (opens in new tab) having emerged as a target.

Elsewhere, Chelsea's search for a new sporting director continues after Christoph Freund opted to stay at Red Bull Salzburg (opens in new tab).

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