Fabrizio Romano says Man City boss Pep Guardiola is pondering a West Ham bid which could cost Chelsea £25m.
It was not that long ago Chelsea were the overwhelming favourites to sign West Ham talisman Rice.
After amassing a squad of over 30 senior players during their mammoth spending spree under Todd Boehly, Chelsea are making moves to trim that number down.
And that had led to speculation they could join Arsenal and Man City in the race to bring Rice back to Stamford Bridge after releasing him as a 14-year-old.
Rice the centre of attention so far for Premier League summer window
Chelsea’s turmoil this season saw them finish well outside the European places. And it has all but ruled them out of the running to sign Rice form West Ham given the midfielder wants Champions League football.
There has been claim and counter claim about the Rice bidding war over the last week.
One cold hard fact is that Arsenal did submit a formal bid for the Hammers captain last Thursday.
But it was miles short of the valuation and rejected out of hand by West Ham as reports emerge that Manchester City are now lurking with serious intent.
Arsenal would have been relieved to see Man City being heavily linked with Chelsea midfield star Mateo Kovacic.
Fabrizio Romano says Man City boss Pep Guardiola is pondering West Ham bid which could cost Chelsea £25m
It was being reported over a week ago that a surprise deal for Kovacic was all but done with Man City.
Things have gone quiet since, further fuelling speculation Man City were going to rival Arsenal for Rice instead.
A Kovacic move to the Etihad has been making the headlines again today. But there could be a big twist yet.
The Italian transfer reporter has delivered an update this evening on Man City’s pursuit of Chelsea’s Kovacic and West Ham’s captain Rice.
How’s that for a transfer RECTANGLE
Romano says Man City are edging closer to signing Kovacic from Chelsea for £25m.
But that could change as Man City are still deciding whether to make an official bid for Rice.
While a bidding war is just what West Ham want, it would obviously that would also be bad news for Arsenal, who – Romano claims – remain favourites for Rice.
How’s that for a transfer rectangle!
“Chelsea and Manchester City are at the final stages of Mateo Kovacic deal,” Romano said on Twitter.
“First approach was for €25m (£20m), Chelsea want at least €30m (£25m). Personal terms are 100% agreed.
“This could only change if City decide to enter into Declan Rice deal — where Arsenal remain favourites.”