West Ham United star Declan Rice is a summer transfer target for London rivals Chelsea, according to Sky Sports.

The Hammers have been below par throughout this season and are currently only above the Premier League relegation zone on goal difference.

Rice has been one of West Ham’s few bright sparks this season and has matured into an essential first-team player for Davies Moyes’ men.

After committing his international future to England, the Hammers stat won selection to Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad earlier this season.

Due to the decline in performances from Eric Dier, Rice has an opportunity to push to be the first-choice England defensive midfielder at the European Championships.

Rice’s performances will have been noticed by other clubs and many feel that his quality deems him worthy of playing in the Champions League.

With West Ham looking unlikely to qualify for the Champions League in the near future, the possibility is high that Rice will have one eye on a move elsewhere.

If the Hammers are relegated this season, they will almost definitely not keep hold of Rice beyond this season.

It is beyond any reasonable doubt that he should be playing in the Premier League.

Playing in the Championship would also jeopardise his chances of being called up to the England squad.

Regardless of what happens or whether Rice stays beyond next summer, the Hammers will have to make major adjustments to their squad during the next transfer window.

West Ham should be a club that is consistently winning games and not one that is struggling to avoid relegation – keeping Rice will be a key objective for the club this summer.

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