Chelsea have identified a Serie A star as their main Declan Rice transfer alternative this summer as West Ham reportedly stand strong in their stance against selling him.
The Blues have long been admirers of a player they let go from their academy in his early days but have been unable to prise him away from the grips of the Hammers, who have played hardball with not just Chelsea, but also the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United, who have also shown interest in the England international in the past.
However, the current world champions’ interest has persisted into this summer and it is understood that new owner Todd Boehly had wanted to make West Ham’s No. 41 one of the first ‘marquee’ signings of his tenure. That accolade seems to be heading to Man City’s Raheem Sterling, with confidence on both sides that a deal can be struck for the 27-year-old imminently, with some sources even claiming that the deal is ‘done’ already.
It is understood that despite West Ham’s £150m valuation, which hasn’t yet been met by anyone, Boehly is preparing to make a player plus significant cash move later on in this transfer window which will involve £100m and one of either Armando Broja or Ross Barkley in return.
Even if this bid is rejected, either Broja or Barkley could be heading to the London Stadium this summer, as the Blues aim to maintain the rapport with their London counterparts ahead of a potential transfer swoop next summer for Rice, when he’s likely to be a little cheaper as his contract runs down another year.
In the meantime, do Chelsea stick or twist? Sign a new midfielder or trust an internal option like Conor Gallagher or Billy Gilmour to step up if either one of Jorginho or Ruben Loftus-Cheek were to depart this summer, amid strong Juventus and Lazio links, respectively?
It seems as though the former of those options is the one that Boehly will take, as it has been reported that the Blues have opened initial talks to sign £68m-rated Sergej Milinkovic-Savic from Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio outfit. The former Chelsea boss has already been credited with an interest in both Loftus-Cheek and Emerson Palmieri but a potential swap deal has already seemingly been rubbished.
This is according to Italian outlet CalcioNews24, who have reported that talks have begun between the two clubs who could be doing multiple deals together across this summer transfer window. The report goes on to clarify that Sarri himself is willing to let go of a player that has been compared to Juventus’ new signing Paul Pogba in the past if it meant that a few of his former employees back in west London were to join him in Italy this summer.
Chelsea fans- Would you spend nearly £70m on Sergej Milinkovic-Savic or wait another year for Declan Rice and trust both Conor Gallagher and Billy Gilmour to do a good job in the meantime? Leave your thoughts down below!
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Chelsea start talks with Declan Rice transfer alternative and Sarri favourite
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