Chelsea are moving ahead with their pursuit of Declan Rice with the West London club reportedly in talks with West Ham United.
According to journalist Rudy Galetti, Chelsea have begun talks with West Ham United over the transfer of Declan Rice. The Blues have been long-term admirers of the English international midfielder, although the Hammers are still demanding upwards of £80 million for their star man.
Last summer, the Blues’ boss Frank Lampard pushed the club to bring Declan Rice to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea, having already spent heavily on new stars such as Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Edouard Mendy, postponed their interest in Rice by another year.
Despite a change in the managerial hotseat, Chelsea remain very much interested in Rice. However, his value has been appreciated in that timeline, especially after playing a major role in England’s UEFA Euro 2020 campaign. Rice was a mainstay in Gareth Southgate’s midfield alongside Kalvin Philips, which is why the Hammers are demanding top value.
West Ham are looking for around £80 million for the 22-year-old, knowing well that the interested parties can have such an outlay. Apart from Chelsea, Manchester United have been serious contenders until they decided to turn their attention towards Rennes’ Eduardo Camavinga, a cheaper alternative to Rice.
Even Chelsea had alternatives in mind but are now keen to bring Rice to Stamford Bridge. The asking price might be a stumbling block for the Blues, who are also chasing Erling Haaland. Alternatively, if Chelsea fail in the Norwegian’s pursuit, they are ready to shell out £50 million on Robert Lewandowski.
However, the Blues could take advantage of West Ham’s interest in Tammy Abraham and include him in the deal to reduce the asking price. The Hammers need a new striker in this window and are aware of Abraham’s availability after Chelsea deemed him surplus to their requirements, valuing him at £40 million.
West Ham are reportedly open to taking Abraham as part of the Rice deal alongside a huge chunk of cash. However, the East Londoners face tough competition for the Chelsea striker. Arsenal are in the race for the English frontman, and with the player himself being a Gunners’ fan, things might get complicated for West Ham.
The Gunners are understood to be ready to submit a formal offer soon, and Moyes has a task at hand to convince Abraham of his West Ham project. Rice, on the other hand, is destined to leave the London Stadium for pastures anew. Chelsea might be a solid option, and a deal will certainly depend on both clubs agreeing on a reasonable fee.