By Sam Stone

20th Oct, 2022 | 10:18am

Gabby Agbonlahor and Alan Brazil talk up Declan Rice West Ham United exit

TalkSPORT duo Alan Brazil and Gabby Agbonlahor have talked up a West Ham exit for Declan Rice, suggesting “it’s only a matter of time” before he departs.

90min reported (4 October) the 23-year-old is still Chelsea’s top summer target, with the futures of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho looking uncertain.

It’s also been suggested by journalist Paul Brown (GiveMeSport, 17 October) that Rice won’t be signing a new contract any time soon.

Brazil believes the England international is a “perfect” fit for Graham Potter’s side after long-term interest from the West London club.

He said: “He bent one far post against Southampton, he’s perfect for them (Chelsea),” he said on talkSPORT Breakfast [06:21, 20 October].

Agbonlahor responded: “He’s going soon Declan Rice, it’s only a matter of time before he leaves.”

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Chelsea developments

The midfield developments at Stamford Bridge over the past couple of weeks could have a huge impact on what the future hold for Rice. The club were set to hold talks with Kante over a new deal, but the French midfielder has since suffered an injury which has thrown his future at the club into doubt.

It now seems unlikely that Chelsea will view Kante as a long-term solution in the centre of midfield and that could open the door for Rice’s long-awaited move across London to happen.

If he isn’t going to sign a new deal at West Ham, the club could well be inclined to cash in on their talisman, with his value only likely to decrease the nearer his contract gets to its conclusion.

It would still take a huge bid this summer for the Hammers to consider letting their main man leave, but with Chelsea potentially seeing some players go, along with the strong backing from Todd Boehly, anything is possible when it comes to Rice’s future.