Thomas Tuchel ‘loves’ Declan Rice as the Chelsea boss looks ahead to the ‘evolution’ of the Blues’ midfield. That’s according to a report from The Athletic, who says Tuchel is also a big fan of Conor Gallagher, who looks set to return to the club in the summer after a successful loan spell at Crystal Palace.
football.london understands that Chelsea are indeed long-term admirers of Rice, who the west London club released as a teenager. His performances for West Ham United and now England have been so strong that he has well and truly established himself as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.
That is why Chelsea will not be the only club with a strong interest in Rice, with both Manchester clubs also said to be keen on his signature. The fact that the 23-year-old came through the academy at Cobham could indeed help Chelsea in their pursuit.
READ MORE: Declan Rice gives Chelsea two-second audition that proves why he’s the perfect Jorginho heir
Chelsea’s midfield has been tremendous for some time now. N’Golo Kante will go down as a club legend. However, this season, the 31-year-old hasn’t been himself, especially over the past few matches. Jorginho’s future looks uncertain.
As the report says, Tuchel is now eyeing the “evolution” of the midfield. Gallagher has the potential to be the long-term solution for Chelsea in that regard. The energetic box-to-box midfielder has shown time after time for Crystal Palace that he can work well defensively and offer a huge goal threat in the other direction.
Tuchel has already outlined his plans for Gallagher next season, insisting the England international will be a “big influence” in the Chelsea squad next term. “I believe that Conor can be a part of our squad and can play a role with us, but I am not the only one to decide,” the Blues head coach said in his press conference on Friday morning.
“We need to speak after the season with everybody, and we need to see what Conor wants. We need to see what the situation is, what role we have for him and what he can fight for because you need something to fight for.
“You need to have a role and a perspective about where you are, where you can be and what to achieve. We have to be very clear with him, he needs to be clear with us, and we will sort it out.
“His development is extraordinary and outstanding. He is one of the key players at Crystal Palace, and he has made a huge step in his development upfront.
“He was a pleasure to coach in pre-season – he has so much positive energy, so much energy in general, and so much work-rate to give that he can, of course, be a big help and a big influence.”
As for Rice, football.london understands that West Ham will not welcome any offers for their star midfielder in the summer transfer window. That might not be enough to stop the interested parties from trying their luck.
A Rice and Gallagher midfield duo is a very attractive and intriguing proposition for Chelsea supporters. It seems to be a popular topic on social media, and it seems as if the manager feels a similar way.