Chelsea have been knocked back in their first attempt to make contact with West Ham United over a possible transfer for midfielder Declan Rice.
That’s according to a recent report from 90min, who claims new owner Todd Boehly recently instructed his recruitment team to speak with the Hammers’ majority shareholder David Sullivan about the possibility of striking a deal that would see Rice return to Chelsea, nine years after departing their youth academy.
Although suffering rejection, it has been noted that the five-time Premier League winners could return with an offer that also includes midfielder Ross Barkley and striker Armando Broja.
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Rice has been a player that has continually been linked with a move back to Stamford Bridge. However, more recent times have seen other clubs emerge as potential suitors, including both Manchester sides.
Speaking to reporters earlier in the year about his star midfielder, manager David Moyes, as quoted by The Athletic, said: “The first thing to say is that he is not for sale.
“If you are interested, well, it will be north of that. One hundred (million pounds) was cheap last summer. One hundred and fifty just now would be minimum but he is not for sale. What I do know is that it means there are only certain clubs that could even consider it.”
Whether the Blues will end up offering their domestic rivals exactly what they’re looking for remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, still with two months left in the window, the Rice saga looks set to drag on for quite some time yet.