Chelsea reportedly would have to pay the full asking price for West Ham ace Declan Rice despite their reported attempts to involve two players in a swap deal.

Having signed Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner and reportedly being close to signing Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz, Chelsea would likely turn their next focus to reinforcing their defence.

Despite reaching their objective to finish in the top four, Chelsea still conceded more goals (54) than any other team in the top half of the Premier League table.

Compared to Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United who conceded just 33, 35 and 36 goals, respectively, it is clear that Chelsea would need a significant defensive improvement to have any chance of challenging for titles next season.

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According to a report from the Guardian, one of the names on Chelsea’s shortlist is West Ham captain Declan Rice.

The England international has established himself as one of the Premier League top players after previously being released from Chelsea’s academy at the age of 14.

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The report mentioned that West Ham are interested in signing Queens Park Rangers forward Eberechi Eze but, like many other clubs, they are not in a strong financial position because of the pandemic.

Rice is certainly among West Ham’s most valuable assets, and the report claimed West Ham could be tempted to sell for the “right price”.

West Ham reportedly demand a fee of at least £65million and manager David Moyes is allegedly ready to turn down Chelsea’s attempt to include Michy Batshuayi and Ross Barkley in any potential swap deal.

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Rice could be the vocal defensive player Chelsea have been craving

Whether such a fee would be worth it is debatable.

But Rice, who averaged 3.1 tackles and two interceptions per game in the league (Whoscored), could bring significant improvement to Chelsea’s defence.

Although he predominantly plays in a holding midfield role, he can also fill in as a centre-back, where he played most of his youth career.

The 21-year-old has also shown leadership qualities despite his young age, having been chosen as captain at West Ham this season.

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