"But paid around same for Caicedo, make it make sense" – Fans react as reason behind Chelsea's decision to snub Declan Rice transfer emerges
Chelsea fans have taken to social media to opine on the Blues' reported reasoning behind not pursuing Declan Rice's services earlier this year.
The Blues were said to be on the hunt for multiple first-team midfielders earlier this summer. They were heavily linked with Rice, who ultimately moved to Arsenal in a potential £105 million deal from West Ham United.
After missing out on the Englishman, Chelsea shifted their attention on other targets in the final month of the summer transfer window. They completed a £115 million deal to lure Moises Caicedo away from Brighton & Hove Albion, beating Liverpool in the race along the way.
Now, The Daily Telegraph journalist Matt Law has revealed why the Blues decided to cool their interest in Rice. He claimed that the club were not prepared to pay "an English premium" to snap the player up.
Following the aforementioned report, Blues fans have reacted to the news:
Apart from roping in Caicedo, Mauricio Pochettino's outfit also added Romeo Lavia and Lesley Ugochukwu to their squad earlier this summer. They spent a combined fee of over £81 million to snap up the teenage midfield pair from Southampton and Rennes, respectively.
Rice, on the other hand, has opened his new chapter at the Emirates Stadium on a positive note. He has helped them lift the Community Shield so far and has netted one goal in eight matches for Arsenal so far.
Gary Neville opines on Chelsea's below-par form, defends manager Mauricio Pochettino
Chelsea, who finished 12th in the Premier League standings last season, recently crashed to a 1-0 league loss against Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge in a poor start to the current season. They tasted defeat due to Ollie Watkins' 73rd-minute winner on Sunday (September 24).
Speaking on his Sky Sports podcast, Manchester United great Gary Neville shared his thoughts on Chelsea's run of poor results, asserting that Mauricio Pochettino is still the right choice. He elaborated:
"What are Chelsea doing?! What is happening with the club? I've got great faith in Mauricio Pochettino, but he's got a huge pack of cards and he's struggling to know which hand to play. It's a mystery as to what's happening."
Neville also claimed that the Blues might undergo a series of changes with respect to both transfer strategy and on-pitch display. On this, he added:
"Sometimes chaos just flows throughout a club. I think there will be some changes in how they go about their business soon enough. I can't see this lasting in terms of how the club is being run. It's madness right now."
The Blues will next be in action in their EFL Cup third-round tie against Brighton & Hove Albion at home on Wednesday (September 27).