Declan Rice has told pals he’d prefer to stay in London and has no interest in joining Manchester United.
United have been linked with Rice since the West Ham and England midfielder emerged into the first team with the Hammers as an 18-year-old.
Chelsea is believed to be Rice’s favoured destination if he leaves West Ham who value the defensive midfielder at a whopping £80 million.
Rice, who can also play at centre-back, is ambitious for Champions League football and trophies and although the Hammers are only three points off fourth place the club fear he could leave in the summer.
Talk of a bumper new wage boost has so far not materialised – but it’s unlikely he’ll move to Old Trafford.
A source close to the player said: “Dec has been flattered by interest in him but he doesn’t see himself moving to Manchester. It’s obvious where he’d like his next move to be.”
Rice has unfinished business with Chelsea who let him go as a 14 year-old after he spent eight years in their junior academy.
Best pal and fellow England star Mason Mount is at Stamford Bridge and Blues boss Frank Lampard has made no secret of his admiration for the star who turns 22 this week.
Would Rice be a good signing for Chelsea? Have your say below.
But after a £200million transfer spree and erratic results so far this season, Lampard is under pressure to deliver with the squad he’s got.
Meanwhile Chelsea look to have been beaten to the signature of Ecuador international Moses Caicedo.
Man Utd were also keeping tabs on the midfielder.