Glen Johnson: Chelsea could use Mason Mount contract to raid West Ham United for Declan Rice
Glen Johnson believes Chelsea will want to tie down Mason Mount to a long-term deal in order to encourage West Ham captain Declan Rice to join in the summer.
As reported by CBS journalist Ben Jacobs, Rice sits at the top of Chelsea’s priority list this summer, with the Blues long-term admirers of the Hammers captain.
Rice spoke openly at the World Cup about his desire to play in the Champions League, and he could look to leave West Ham at the end of the season to pursue his European dream. [The Guardian]
But if Chelsea are to seal a deal for Rice in the summer, Johnson believes the Blues may first have to agree a new deal for Mason Mount.
“I can’t imagine he’s [Mount] the sort of lad that would down tools if he doesn’t get £300,000-a-week. He doesn’t seem like that sort of fella,” Johnson told football.london.
“I don’t believe that’s true, so I think they’ll come to an arrangement eventually. Chelsea may have to keep Mount tactically if they do want to sign Declan Rice as well.”
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Mount’s ongoing contract talks with Chelsea could make Rice double-guess whether he wants to leave the London Stadium this season.
The two England stars are publicly known as great friends having grown up playing football alongside each other. Rice’s links to Chelsea often rotate around his desire to play alongside Mount.
Mount has been in contract talks with the Blues for a few months now with no deal agreed by both parties just yet. Rice won’t want to jump ship to London rivals if Mount is immediately on his way out.
Of course, Rice’s move doesn’t solely lie on whether Mount is at the club or not – he has plenty of other suitors – but it will still be part of his decision-making process.
Hopefully, David Moyes and the Hammers board can convince Rice to give the club at least another season or two, with his contract currently running until 2024.
But in reality, it only seems a matter of time until Rice heads for the exit, and no one can deny him his wish.