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Gigantic new fee touted as Chelsea, Man Utd battle for West Ham ace Declan Rice meets Real Madrid

The looming battle to sign West Ham ace Declan Rice may now include Real Madrid, and one observer reckons the 23-year-old is now worth an eye-watering sum.

Rice, Kalvin Phillips and Youri Tielemans are unarguably three of the finest central midfielders the Premier League has to offer. None of the trio play for members of the traditional top six – a fact that has ensured transfer links are increasingly common.

Tielemans is expected to be sold in the summer after it became clear he won’t pen fresh terms with Leicester. It’ll take a great effort to prise Phillips away from boyhood club Leeds, but today’s updates concern West Ham’s Rice.

The holding midfielder has shown he is capable of far more than just the defensive dirty work this season. Rice is quickly developing into the complete midfielder, and the vultures are beginning to circle.

Man Utd have long been credited with interest. It’s easy to understand why given central midfield is regularly earmarked as their weakest position.

Adding further fuel to the fire were Rice’s recent comments on Gary Neville’s Overlap podcast. Rice insisted he does not want a trophy-less career, and it is unarguable that a move to a traditional powerhouse would aid his trophy desires.

Links to Chelsea have also ramped up in recent weeks. Monday’s Paper Talk (citing the Daily Telegraph) revealed Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia is willing to bankroll a blockbuster deal.

“Ancelotti will be in the race” for Declan Rice

However, according to Sky Italia journalist Gianluca di Marzio, competition is expected from Real Madrid.

Los Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti has seen first hand what Rice is capable of during his spell at Everton. According to Di Marzio, Ancelotti is certain to put Real in the race if they can finance a move.

“If there will be the possibility to have [Declan Rice], Ancelloti will be in the race,” said Di Marzio (via TribalFootball).

“I don’t know which strategy will Real Madrid will have in the future – it depends on some players staying or going. For sure, Carlo Ancelotti likes him very much.”

Real’s interest makes sense given the age of their current starters in midfield….

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