Chelsea target Declan Rice looks increasingly likely to become a Blues player this summer and the Stamford Bridge outfit are trying to wrap up a deal for him before the transfer window closes.
The 21-year-old has emerged as one of the most in-demand midfielders in the Premier League after his stirring performances at the base of the West Ham midfield, but the Hammers were resolute in their stance not to let their priced asset leave on the cheap.
However, they have been rocked by the COVID-19 crisis and currently find themselves cash-strapped, with reports suggesting that they could be ready to lower their asking price for Declan Rice.
According to the Sun, it appears that Chelsea are confident of signing him at the cut-price sum of £40m as West Ham seek the funds to balance the books and fund alternate transfers.
Frank Lampard has overseen a summer splurge that has seen his side spend over £200m and Chelsea have been by far the busiest side on the continent in what has been a relatively quiet transfer market.
The Blues' coffers was buoyed by a transfer ban that saw them fail to make signings for two consecutive summers while the sale of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid also left them with a huge transfer kitty.
Lampard is, however, not satisfied with his team's transfer business, especially considering the shaky start they have made to the Premier League.
He has therefore identified strengthening the midfield as a priority, with Declan Rice the man to make this happen and a deal for the England international could be completed before the window shuts down next week.
Returning Declan Rice to provide steel in midfield
Declan Rise spent eight years in the Chelsea academy before sealing a switch to West Ham to continue his development, and the decision proved to be a masterstroke as he made his first team debut less than a year later.
Since then, he has gone on to make over 100 appearances in all competitions for the Hammers, as well as becoming an established international with England.
He, however, caused a stir having initially represented the country of his grandparents, Ireland at youth level but switched his allegiance to the Three Lions in February 2019.
West Ham fans would be wary of losing Declan Rice to Chelsea as it would bring back painful memories of another highly-rated young midfielder (Lampard) who ditched Upton Park for Stamford Bridge almost two decades ago.Published 27 Sep 2020, 23:55 IST