Chelsea ready to battle Arsenal this summer for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice – Paper Round

Chelsea still in race for Rice

Declan Rice had been linked with a move to Arsenal in recent months but The Sun reports that Chelsea’s interest has not dissipated. Instead, they are ready to challenge for his signature should he leave this summer, and could be teamed with Enzo Fernandez in midfield.

“ARSENAL face fierce competition for summer transfer target Declan Rice with their London rivals chasing the midfielder,” the report begins.

“Chelsea are reportedly interested in signing the West Ham captain this summer to add to their growing list of new arrivals.

“Graham Potter’s side already splashed out a whopping £107million on Enzo Fernandez in January to sure up their midfield.

“Rice is expected to leave The Hammers in the summer with his current contract due to expire in 2024.”

Chelsea ready to let Mendy leave

Despite his brilliant start at Stamford Bridge, Edouard Mendy has lost his spot to Kepa Arrizabalaga under Graham Potter, and the Senegalese stopper could be sold after a mammoth window of winter spending.

The Mirror states: “The Blues need to cut the number of players in Potter’s squad after heavy investment last summer and in January. Mendy, who was No.1 under Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel but has fallen behind Kepa Arrizabalaga since Potter’s arrival, is among those for whom the Stamford Bridge hierarchy will listen to offers.

“The 30-year-old Senegal keeper is in the final 18 months of the contract he signed when he arrived from Rennes at Petr Cech’s behest in 2020. He quickly established himself as one of the best shot-stoppers in the top flight, keeping 16 clean sheets in his first season.

“He also equalled the Champions League record of nine clean sheets in a campaign to help the club win the competition under Tuchel. Injury cost him his spot when Potter first arrived in September and, even though he has deputised when Kepa was unavailable, the Spaniard has retained his manager’s trust since.”

Ten Hag set for new deal

The Mail believes that regardless of the outcome of a proposed change of ownership at Manchester United, Erik ten Hag’s performance as manager so far has earned him a new contract to stay at the club.

The paper writes: “Talks of a potential takeover at the club have been ongoing for months and have had significant developments this week as both Sir Jim Ratcliffe and a high-level team of representatives of Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani toured Old Trafford.

“The club’s current owners, the Glazer family, have ensured that they remain focused on delivering a positive outcome this season and will not let the takeover talks distract them.

“As part of this, one issue that has already been outlined is the desire to extend ten Hag’s deal as head coach of the Red Devils.

“Ten Hag has helped transform the Red Devils in his first season at the club and has delivered a Carabao Cup trophy whilst maintaining a position in the top four.”

Haaland release clause increased

Spanish newspaper Marca believes that there has been a change in the release clause of Erling Haaland, which had stood at 175m in euros in 2025, and 25m euros a year before.

However manager Pep Guardiola’s new contract, signed towards the end of last year, has increased the fee.

“It was understood that he would cost 200 million euros if he were to leave Manchester City in 2024 and 175m euros if he leaves in 2025,” the story explains.

“The Norwegian, as part of his negotiation, managed to impose two release clauses on Manchester City in a formula he already used in his time at Borussia Dortmund and RB Salzburg.

“Guardiola extended his contract last November until June 2025, meaning the attacker’s clause has also been automatically renewed and it is now 200m euros for 2025, not 175m euros.

“As such, the Norwegian’s suitors are now faced with another price and timeline, which could have major implications in the transfer market.”

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