The Guardian journalist Fabrizio Romano says that Chelsea could make their move for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice within “days” once they have finalised a deal to sign Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
The Blues have agreed a fee for the Senegalese international and once he signs on the dotted line, Romano predicts the London club are likely to make an attempt for Rice, although the Hammers will hold out for around €80m (£74m):
Edouard Mendy will be in London on next few hours – the deal is 100% done. Chelsea will consider a move for Declan Rice on following days but won’t pay €80m. West Ham insist they don’t want to sell Rice. Match on. Bakayoko is not in Lampard plans. 🔵 #CFC #Chelsea #WHUFC
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 11, 2020
West Ham boss David Moyes was asked about Rice’s future at his pre-match press conference yesterday ahead of the Newcastle game. The Scot said the Irons have not had contact with any club about the 21-year-old:
“It was always the plan that there was no intention to lose Declan Rice – we had no bids and no enquiries. I can only tell you what I know, and I wouldn’t have wanted to lose him anyway.”
The situation may change soon, though, if Romano is to be believed. Considering how much Chelsea have spent this summer, it does seem unlikely that they’ll be able to match West Ham’s demands, but they could return later on in the transfer window once they have offloaded some fringe players.