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Chelsea have advantage over Man Utd in pursuit of England star

Chelsea have an advantage over Manchester United in the race to sign West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice this summer, Daily Mail reports.

The England international is regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League and has been touted to leave the Hammers for a while.

The east London outfit have made progress under David Moyes in recent years, but there is room for improvement before they can win potential silverware.

Rice still has more than two years left on his contract with the option for 12 months, but he has been tipped to pursue a bigger challenge this summer.

The Hammers may not sell him for anything less than £100 million, but it is reported that the Blues could have the edge over United in the player’s pursuit.

Both clubs are long-term admirers of the 23-year-old, but Rice has his sights on rejoining his boyhood club where he was released at the age of just 14.

Thomas Tuchel’s side side may still need to recoup transfer funds. It is suggested that they could part ways with N’Golo Kante to bring in Rice next season.

The European champions are currently loaded with defensive midfield options with the presence of Kante, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and loan signing Saul Niguez.

However, Saul is expected to return to Atletico after his loan stint. Meanwhile, Kante’s exit does not seem possible, but the Blues may not rule out the prospect.

The Frenchman has been an excellent acquisition for the Blues, and he was a key catalyst in their Champions League final triumph over Manchester City.

Despite this, there have been lingering concerns over his fitness for a while, and the club could be tempted to sell him if a big-money offer arrives on the table.

Jorginho could be the player to make way for Rice’s arrival. The midfielder has been linked with a return to Napoli for some time through his representative.

Rice has developed into a solid all-round midfielder in recent years. He has added more goal contributions to his game with the willingness to make forward runs.

He may ideally prefer to stay in the English capital next season, and may feel he has a point to prove to the Blues, having been released from their academy at an early age.

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