Premier League • England

Chelsea transfer news: Tuchel sack won’t derail huge nine-figure swoop for certain England World Cup starter

England pair Harry Kane and Declan Rice

Significant figures behind the scenes at Chelsea still intend to sign West Ham and England ace Declan Rice “when the time arrives”, according to one transfer source.

The Blues were the world’s biggest spenders in the summer transfer window. Chelsea forked out around £254m to sign the likes of Wesley Fofana, Kalidou Koulibaly, Marc Cucurella and Raheem Sterling, to name just a few.

Both Chelsea and Manchester United registered a net spend north of £200m, with the former’s ever so slightly higher.

However, mere days after the window closed, Todd Boehly and his Clearlake partners swung the axe on Thomas Tuchel.

The German left after an even 100 matches in charge. Graham Potter and five of his backroom staff were quickly drafted in after Chelsea agreed to pay Brighton a hefty £22m compensation package.

However, any notion that Chelsea’s future spending could wind down may be far from accurate.

The Blues remain long term admirers of West Ham’s midfield talisman, Declan Rice.

The 23-year-old is already one of the Premier League’s finest midfielders and Chelsea’s engine room may soon need a refresh.

Chelsea midfield could be revamped in 2023

Indeed, Jorginho and N’Golo Kante are both out of contract in the summer of 2023. There has been talk of an extension for Kante, though Chelsea have their concerns.

Rice has previously gone on record to outline his desires of competing for top honours. He was offered an eight-year extension by West Ham that would’ve netted him £200,000-a-week last year. Rice rejected the proposal.

He spent time in Chelsea’s academy between the years of 2006-14 and is known to be close friends with Mason Mount. Though competition will be fierce, if he does leave West Ham, Chelsea looks the obvious next step.

David Moyes has publicly stated Rice will cost well in advance of £100m. If this summer is anything to go by, that isn’t a demand that will make Boehly and co wince.

Now, according to transfer insider Dean Jones, Chelsea’s sacking of Thomas Tuchel will have zero effect on their long-term goal of signing Rice.

Speaking to GiveMeSport, Jones said: “Thomas Tuchel’s departure won’t really affect Chelsea’s vision of signing Declan Rice.

“There are still people that remain within the club that are set on going for Declan Rice when the time arrives.”

Rice one of four guaranteed World Cup starters

With less than two months to go until the Qatar World Cup, Gareth Southgate will hope the upcoming Nations League matches will help him zero in on a starting eleven.

However, there are a handful of stars who are automatic selections.

Jordan Pickford has never let England down and if fit, will wear the gloves once again.

John Stones is assured of starting given his past performances in an England shirt. What’s more, his regular international partner, Harry Maguire, has struggled at Man Utd in recent times, thus making Stones the No 1 pick at centre-half.

In midfield, Southgate has faced the difficult task of choosing two from three between Rice, Jude Bellingham and Kalvin Phillips.

Yet Phillips has generated just a single minute of league action since joining Man City. With Rodri on the books, his game-time will continue to be restricted as the World Cup nears.

Rice is therefore certain to start, with Bellingham probably taking the second spot in the double pivot.

Finally, Harry Kane is the most nailed of every England player.

The Spurs hitman boasts a sublime goalscoring ratio with the Three Lions, bagging 50 goals in just 73 matches.

Barring a splurge of goals against Italy and Germany in the Nations League next week, the England captain will likely surpass Wayne Rooney’s 53-goal record as England’s all-time top scorer in Qatar.