West Ham United are adamant that 21-year-old midfielder Declan Rice will not be sold under any circumstances, with Chelsea keen to make him their next summer signing.
The Blues - who have already landed Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell and Hakim Ziyech - are closing in on a move for Rennes goalkeeper Édouard Mendy, after which it is understood they will focus their efforts on Rice.
A fee of around £80m has previously been suggested, with West Ham keen to scare off any potential buyers, but Chelsea's interest has remained and there has even been reports from Sky Italia's Angelo Mangiante that the Blues have led with offers of just over £50m.
The Athletic's David Ornstein only goes as far as to say that West Ham are aware of Chelsea's advances, but they are adamant that Rice will not be sold for any price this summer as they look to make a long-awaited climb up the Premier League table.
Some at Chelsea have reservations over paying such a big fee for a player who was released from the Blues' academy seven years ago, but West Ham are not prepared to offer any discount. The Hammers believe Rice will not leave this window.
After the controversial sale of Grady Diangana to West Bromwich Albion, West Ham plan to reinvest in their squad and hope to add some more defenders, and one name on their radar will intrigue Chelsea fans: Emerson Palmieri.
David Moyes is understood to see Emerson as one of several candidates who could fill the void in his defence, with Arsenal's Sead Kolašinac and Shakhtar Donetsk's Mykola Matviyenko both under consideration as well.
Any offer for Emerson will undoubtedly be of interest to Chelsea, who are looking to offload the Italian following the £50m signing of Chilwell.
West Ham's determined stance suggests that any proposed swap deal would quickly be rebuffed, but Chelsea will likely look to continue talks with the Hammers as they look to recover some money by selling Emerson.
The Italian has attracted interest from the likes of Inter and Napoli, although neither have lodged official bids thus far.
Source : 90min