Declan Rice gives Boehly green light to sign £130m Chelsea transfer and ruins Liverpool plan

Declan Rice recently revealed to the media that Jude Bellingham, a midfielder for the England side, is a long-term target for Chelsea.

Even though Todd Boehly has only been Chelsea’s chairman for a few months, it is already obvious what he has in store for the team.

Following Marina Granovskaia’s departure, Boehly took over the role of sporting director temporarily during the summer transfer window, and Chelsea were quite active on both the incoming and exiting transfer fronts. The Blues added a lot of players for the first team, but there were also a number of young players who were recruited with the future in mind.

Carney Chukwuemeka, Cesare Casadei, Gabriel Slonina, Omari Hutchinson, Eddie Beach and Zak Sturge were all signed. Bar Chukwuemeka, who could get a go in the senior team this season, all of the above players are clearly more for the future than the present.

However, Wesley Fofana, 21, was signed with one eye on the future and another one for the present. The former Leicester City defender has slotted straight into the first team. As the saying goes, ‘When you’re ready, you’re ready’ – and that’s the case with England wonderkid Jude Bellingham.

There was plenty of competition when Bellingham switched the Midlands to west Germany. Manchester United had a serious interest in the talented midfielder, but he chose a move abroad instead.

Bellingham extended his contract back in June 2021, with his new deal at Signal Iduna Park set to run until 2025. So, for Dortmund, there’s no rush to sell the centre-midfielder, but they will be expecting a bidding war next summer.

Theoretically, if Chelsea were to sign him, then Bellingham could be the club’s star central midfielder for the next 10-15 years – that’s how young, and good, he is. Declan Rice knows all too well about the talent of his England international team-mate and has been speaking about his ability.

“I think he’s energetic, strong, he has self-belief, no fear – he has everything,” Rice said when speaking to talkSPORT. “He’s 19 now, he’s been training with us since he was 18, but he is a man.

“He’s played on the big occasions already and he’s ready to play, obviously. It’s now down to the manager to choose what he thinks is best.

“When I played with Jude, I loved it. Obviously, it takes time to settle with a partner, you’re not going to get that connection straight away, but over time you do.

“Look, even with all the midfielders in the squad, I hope we can go on for another 10 years and create a special bond in the middle of the pitch. With Jude, if it’s him I get to play with, or Hendo [Jordan Henderson] or Kalv [Kalvin Phillips], any of those mixtures, even if I’m not involved, I hope everyone does well because that’s what you need as a squad.”

Rice added: “If I was playing next to Jude in a major tournament, I would say to him to go and express himself, go and do what he does best, go and get on the ball, attack people, run at people. If he loses the ball, I don’t care, he needs to go and enjoy it. I’d be there to defend for you.

“When you have a player like that, you need to give him the luxury of getting on the ball and expressing himself. He has that in him, but he’s still only 19 we need to remember. With the media, you always get pushed and there’s a big expectation of what’s required.

“We need to keep letting him settle and then we’ll see the best of Jude. He’s still only 19, by the time he’s 22 or 23, he’s going to be incredible.”

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