According to transfer insider Dean Jones, Chelsea are exploring bringing Declan Rice to Stamford Bridge this summer.
Manager Thomas Tuchel is anticipated to be supported in the market by the club’s new owners, and a move for West Ham’s most cherished possession appears to be on the cards.
Todd Boehly, according to many sites, including The Telegraph, is prepared to grant Tuchel a £200 million transfer budget to help Chelsea reduce the gap on Manchester City and Liverpool.
Boehly’s consortium, which includes the LA Dodgers’ part-owner, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter, and Hansjoerg Wyss, is due to gain official control of the Blues on Monday after the UK government approved the sale.
Chelsea will be free to function in the transfer market again, having previously been unable to do so due to Roman Abramovich’s sanctioning.
Tuchel will prioritise defence, with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen both departing west London.
Rice’s name has been floated as a prospective signing at Chelsea, according to Jones.
Speaking to GMS, the transfer insider said: “On the back of the takeover getting the green light and talk of a £200m war chest, let’s not discount the possibility that Chelsea go back for Declan Rice.
“This Chelsea squad needs a revamp, players will leave, but Rice could be such a big asset and I’m told his name is still discussed as a potential signing.”
West Ham boss David Moyes has warned that anyone interested in signing Rice this summer must pay a minimum of £150 million for the 23-year-old, who teammate Michail Antonio has described as “unbelievable.”
That would be the majority of Tuchel’s budget, leaving him with only £50 million to bring in a pair of defenders, which is unlikely to be enough.
Jules Kounde of Sevilla is reported to be one of Chelsea’s top defensive targets and is estimated to cost £50 million alone.
Tuchel could probably use the acquisition of a new midfielder, with N’Golo Kante and Jorginho both out of contract next June, with the former having had a lot of injury difficulties in recent years.
Finally, Chelsea has a lot of work to do in the forthcoming transfer window, so it will be interesting to see how Tuchel spends the £200 million he will be granted.