Chelsea under pressure to make final Declan Rice transfer decision as £42m Man City deal emerges

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Chelsea face being cut even further adrift from reigning Premier League champions Manchester City next season with Pep Guardiola set to add Kalvin Phillips to his ranks for the 2022-23 campaign.

A report from The Athletic and elsewhere on Friday night revealed that City had struck a deal with Leeds for the England midfielder, with £42 million set to be paid for his services. Phillips graduated through the club’s academy and rose to prominence under Marcelo Bielsa’s guidance and is now set to join up with one of the Argentinian’s most famous pupils.

Despite coming off the back of another title-winning campaign, City are showing no sign of taking it easy this summer. The signing of Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund has already been confirmed and Brighton’s Marc Cucurella continues to be strongly linked with a move to the Etihad.

READ MORE: When Declan Rice to Chelsea transfer could be completed as £10m Jonathan Clauss bid stalls

Not resting on their laurels has been key to City’s success and has seen them open a significant gap on Chelsea. Despite finishing in third, Thomas Tuchel’s men were still cut 19 points adrift last season and this latest transfer revelation shows that chasm is only likely to grow bigger next season.

Declan Rice has long been Chelsea’s priority in midfield but with West Ham refusing to accept anything less than £150 million, a deal remains some way off. But they have not yet been put off the deal entirely and are expected to return with an improved offer after their latest was rejected.

But perhaps a lesson can be learned from City. Guardiola and co. were also interested in signing Rice this summer but were instead put off by the price tag. They have now secured the 23-year-old’s England teammate and another of Premier League’s most highly rated midfielders.

Could Chelsea be better placed moving on to alternatives, rather than stubbornly sticking to their top target? Thanks to sanctions placed on Roman Abramovich and the subsequent special licence from the Government they were forced to operate under, they are already playing catch up in the window, so the pressure is on to make a final decision on their race for Rice.

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Source by Football London

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