Chelsea’s stance on Declan Rice after Thomas Tuchel makes Conor Gallagher call

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Crystal Palace v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League

Conor Gallagher is open to returning to Chelsea (Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images)

Declan Rice’s hopes of joining Chelsea are in jeopardy after Thomas Tuchel decided to integrate Conor Gallagher into the Blues’ first-team next season.

The 22-year-old is on a season-long loan at Crystal Palace and the Eagles would love to sign him on a permanent basis, with Patrick Vieira making the midfielder a key part of his starting XI.

Gallagher has scored seven goals in 24 appearances for Palace and he’s enjoying his time at Selhurst Park, after growing frustrated with a lack of opportunities at Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel has identified central midfield as an area of priority this summer and Roman Abramovich will allocate significant funds for the German to invest.

Burnley v West Ham United - Premier League

Declan Rice’s preference is to join Chelsea (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Chelsea had been expected to battle Manchester United for the signature of West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, with the England international keen on returning to his boyhood club.

But the Evening Standard claim that Rice’s hopes are in peril as Tuchel plans on blocking Gallagher from leaving the club in the summer as he wants to give him chances to prove himself in the first-team.

Chelsea’s midfield options are already extensive, with the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ross Barkley and Saul Niguez struggling for game time.

Rice is understandably unwilling to give up his status at West Ham to become a rotational player elsewhere and he knows he’d be a regular at Old Trafford, where central midfield is the side’s weakest area.

Chelsea’s stance could change if Jorginho, N’Golo Kante or Mateo Kovacic push to leave the club but the Blues do not envisage that being the case, though Jorginho has admitted in the past he plans on returning to Italy at some stage.

Gallagher’s preference has always been to become a Chelsea regular but he’ll only return if he sees a pathway into the first-team and that would be unlikely if Chelsea opted to push ahead with a move for RIce.


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