Premier League • England

Chelsea snubbed blockbuster transfer for ‘top’ Potter target which allowed Arsenal to swoop in

Ben Stewart
Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber Arsenal

Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber with the Community Shield

The reason Chelsea pulled out of a deal to sign Declan Rice this summer has been revealed as it has come to light that he was Graham Potter’s top target.

Since Todd Boehly’s arrival at Stamford Bridge, there’s barely been a dull day. The squad has drastically changed over the last three transfer windows and Chelsea haven’t yet stumbled upon a winning formula.

Chelsea splashed the cash once again this summer, but Mauricio Pochettino has struggled to get much of a tune out of his new squad so far.

Having only won one of their opening six matches, Chelsea currently find themselves in the bottom half of the table and are already nine points adrift of the top four.

It’s fair to say that not all of their new additions have hit the ground running and a fresh report has revealed why they decided to pull out of the race to sign Rice this summer.

It’s no secret that Chelsea had been long-term admirers of the 24-year-old midfielder. After all, Rice had spent his formative years in the Chelsea academy before he was let go as a 14-year-old.

According to The Telegraph, Rice was a ‘top target’ of former head coach Potter, but the club decided against the signing as they felt they would be paying an ‘English premium’ for his signature.

Rice instead sealed a £105million move to Arsenal and Chelsea ended up paying just as much for Brighton’s Moises Caicedo.

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Arsenal was the right move

While Rice’s ties to Chelsea cannot be denied, at this stage of his career the move to Arsenal probably made the most sense. Man City also came in with a late attempt to sign him, but they quickly backed away as the transfer fee reached the £100m mark.

Fabrizio Romano recently provided some insight on the Arsenal midfielder and how he is currently loving life at the Emirates.

“Rice is super happy with his choice to join Arsenal,” he said on his YouTube channel. “He had many possibilities.

“We know since January, February March when he entered into the process for his summer transfer, including Manchester City.

“Man City made a very important proposal but Declan Rice decided to join Arsenal and from what I’m hearing the feeling between Arsenal and Rice is super positive.

“Arsenal believe Rice is going to be an outstanding player, so possibly a crucial player for the club for many, many years.”

The 24-year-old is under contract with the Gunners until 2028, with the option of an extra year. It’s not taken him long to settle into his new surroundings and he will no doubt be a crucial player for the years to come.

READ MORE: Arsenal signing was given ‘guarantees’ over starting spot by Arteta as January exit looms for £24m ace