Journalist Dean Jones has insisted that Chelsea’s interest in Declan Rice remains, despite a recent change in the dugout.

The Blues have long been admirers of the West Ham star, with it believed that the 23-year-old himself would prefer a return to his boyhood club in west London amid interest elsewhere from Manchester United.

Rice is under contract until 2024 and the Hammers have the option to extend for a further year, which leaves his current employers in a strong negotiating position, hence the £150m asking price that David Moyes has placed on his head.

Nevertheless, it appears that the Blues remain keen on acquiring the midfielder, who The Athletic journalist Roshane Thomas dubbed a ‘generational talent’.

Despite Thomas Tuchel being shown the door, Chelsea’s attempts to land Rice are unwavering with Jones telling GIVEMESPORT: “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.”

There are a steady stream of contenders competing for the two places in Chelsea’s engine room with N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Denis Zakaria, Mateo Kovacic and Conor Gallagher all natural options.

However, with Jorginho and Kante in the final year of their contracts and turning 31 and 32 this season respectively, a refresh may be needed.

Loftus-Cheek has only made 32 Premier League starts during his time at Stamford Bridge, while Gallagher’s three appearances from the off in a Chelsea shirt have all come in this campaign.

Both are yet to prove themselves at the highest level while Rice has quickly emerged as one of the country’s finest midfield players.

His pass completion rate of  91.6% was only bettered by Rodri among players in his position to make 20 or more appearances in the Premier League last season and at 23, Rice has already become an assured performer in the West Ham side, making 202 senior appearances.

He would be a shoo-in for the Chelsea line-up, averaging more or as many tackles and interceptions than any member of the Blues side in the top-flight this season and he could hold down the centre of the park for years to come if he were to move across London.