Chelsea are set to shell out over £200M for both Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham as the club prepares for N’Golo Kante’s departure… but the Blues are NOT favorites to sign any of the stars of England.
- Chelsea eye moves for England stars Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice
- Borussia Dortmund are expected to demand £130m for Bellingham
- Chelsea have maintained a long-term interest in West Ham captain Rice
- The Blues hope to rebuild their midfield with the expiration of N’Golo Kante’s contract
Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice have been targeted by Chelsea in a £200m double summer raid, according to reports, but owner Todd Boehly faces a battle to secure the services of the England central midfield duo.
Chelsea owner Boehly was reportedly on hand when the pair impressed in England’s World Cup opener against Iran in Qatar on Monday.
According to the TelegraphBoehly was showing his support for current Chelsea players Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling, but was also keeping an eye on the performances of Bellingham and Rice.
Chelsea face a battle to sign England stars Declan Rice, left, and Jude Bellingham, right
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Bellingham scored England’s first goal in Monday’s 6-2 rout.
His overall performance underlined why the 19-year-old is expected to be the center of a £130m transfer race at the end of the season.
Rice also made his World Cup debut against Iran, and the West Ham midfielder has long been the subject of interest from Chelsea.
Both England internationals are likely to cost more than £100m each, but Chelsea are expected to launch moves for both men.
Chelsea’s owners have reportedly contacted Bellingham’s representatives in a bid to get ahead of their rivals, with Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Real Madrid all pursuing the teenage star.
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly reportedly spotted the pair during England’s win over Iran.
Bellingham scored the opener in England’s win over Iran to kick off the World Cup in style
Liverpool are also said to have developed a close relationship with the Bellingham camp, with the Reds seen as favorites to secure his signature.
Rice has become a key player for both club and country, amassing over 200 appearances for West Ham and 35 appearances for England.
The West Ham captain has two years left on his current contract, with the option to extend it for another year.
Rice has turned down several offers from the club to extend his stay and the 23-year-old reportedly has no intention of signing a long-term contract.
Chelsea’s goal of bringing Rice back to the club could be complicated by their below-par first half of the Premier League season, with the Blues heading into the World Cup break in eighth place, eight points. below the Champions League places.
Rice, who was released by Chelsea when he was just 14, has publicly stated his ambition to play in the Champions League and compete for trophies.
Rice is also known for being Mount’s best friend, England teammate and Chelsea star, telling Copa90 in 2020 that he “would love to play with Mount again at club level.”
The midfielder tweeted a photo of the pair after England’s win over Iran, saying: “Only two best partners in one World Cup.”
Everton boss Frank Lampard admitted this week that he had previously tried to sign Rice and Bellingham when he was in charge of Chelsea.
Graham Potter hopes to succeed in a similar quest, in which the Chelsea manager could oversee a young English core in midfield.
Chelsea’s interest in Bellingham and Rice could mark the end of N’Golo Kante’s time at Stamford Bridge.
The French defensive midfielder has been a vital part of Chelsea since joining from Leicester in 2016, making 262 appearances for the club.
Kante is in the final year of his contract and has been plagued by a series of injuries, with the 31-year-old looking increasingly likely to leave at the end of the campaign.