Chelsea held negotiations with 21-year-old England international

Darren Bent says Declan Rice would represent an upgrade on current London giants midfielder N’Golo Kante. The 21-year-old midfielder has earned some rave reviews with West Ham United and at 21, has plenty of years ahead of him.

Bent, the ex-Ipswich Town, Sunderland and Aston Villa centre-forward, has claimed Declan would be a better option in midfield than 2018 World Cup-winning midfielder N’Golo. Bent said: “N’Golo Kante has been a superb footballer – and still is a great footballer.”

“He won the Premier League with Leicester, went to Chelsea and won the Premier League and won the World Cup in 2018. But I just think over the past season and a half, he’s not played that role we know he is so good at, for whatever reason.”

“Maybe [Maurizio] Sarri (former Chelsea boss) was onto something because he said he wasn’t quick enough in possession so he didn’t play him there. Sarri got absolutely killed for not playing him there but Frank [Lampard] has come in and done the same thing and no one has really said anything.”

England international has made more than 100 appearances for the Hammers having come through the ranks in east London. He is also an England international and played the full 90 minutes as Gareth Southgate’s side beat Belgium 2-1 in the Nations League over the weekend