Chelsea remain heavily linked with the transfer of West Ham and England midfielder Declan Rice and could make an approach for the 21-year-old, but the Blues may have to sell before they can buy.
Rice started his football career at Chelsea when he joined the club’s youth ranks as a young child. He was later released at the age of 14, but his former club have been on taking him back since he has become a key player for West Ham in recent seasons.
Rice has been a regular starter for England since March 2019 and remains close friends with former Chelsea youth team colleague Mason Mount.
A transfer might be seen as the next logical step in his promising career and he has also been linked with the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United in the past. But West Ham’s reluctance to sell has seen valuations of up to £80m or even £100m place on the player.
Chelsea are seemingly unperturbed and Football Insider claims that while West Ham’s public stance is that Rice is not for sale, the Stamford Bridge club have had private encouragement from both the Hammers and the player to make an offer.
Chelsea are tipped to submit a bid in January, yet with heavy summer spending on the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech funded by considerable player sales over the previous 12-18 months, more sales may be needed to raise the funds for Rice.
It is reported that it will take two big money sales of existing players, with Jorginho, Antonio Rudiger and Marcos Alonso three senior names Chelsea are ready to listen to offers for.
All three have often been linked with departures from Stamford Bridge since Frank Lampard was appointed manager and aren’t expected to have a long-term future in west London.
Source : 90min