I just cannot see Chelsea signing Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice, despite reading reports that they want to sign both. And I don’t even think the money would be an issue.
We know the ambition that our new owners have, and we know that they won’t be afraid to dip into their pockets, but I think it’s hugely ambitious if anyone thinks Chelsea will sign both of Bellingham and Rice.
I do think we have a great chance of signing Rice. But personally, for me, I think Chelsea are way down the list of options that Bellingham would choose out of the options he will get.
We might not even have Champions League football to offer this season yet, and I just see him picking Manchester City or Real Madrid if I am honest, and Chelsea would be third or fourth choice.
It would be almost (only say almost because you can never say never in this game) impossible for Chelsea to land both Bellingham and Rice, despite the desire to do so.
But as I said, I do think we have a decent shout of landing Rice still, but for me, it’s hinging on Mason Mount’s new contract, which I do feel optimistic will get signed. He also has many interested clubs.
I’ve always been confident that he would choose Chelsea if there are multiple offers on the table and the final decision was left with him. But I also do think that the Mount contract situation could change this, as well as perhaps if Chelsea missed out on Champions League football, and other factors.
I wouldn’t say that we weren’t in pole position to sign him though, I’d put us up there with the other clubs, but we will have competition. And of course, it won’t just be about how much wages are being offered, or Rice being a Chelsea academy boy and still loving Chelsea, it will be about the collective entire package on offer.
It’s going to be a massive decision for Rice, and I don’t expect him to make it until the summer when he weighs up all his offers.
I do think this is the best chance Chelsea have of signing Rice this summer, and I remain optimistic that it will finally happen. But there is a lot more to consider than just him joining Chelsea, there are a lot of other elements, and it is not as straight forward as some might think.
As for Bellingham, that’s a pipe dream. I’ve never felt confident of that happening.