Chelsea are reportedly preparing to take the next step in their pursuit of England midfielder Declan Rice.
The price tag pinned on him by West Ham is a major stumbling block, although transfer chief Marina Granovskaia is believed to be considering Tammy Abraham as an element to sweeten the deal.
Rice has three years left on his deal with the Hammers, so they are under no pressure to cash in on their midfield destroyer this summer.
As a result, David Moyes has slapped a £100million valuation on the 22-year-old, effectively pricing every club out of a deal.
However, the fact that Rice has supposedly rejected every improved contract offer put on the table by West Ham indicates his desire to leave the club.
Despite the price-tag, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel remains a fan of the youngster who impressed the nation with his performances at Euro 2020.
Rice was a mainstay in Gareth Southgate’s midfield, appearing in all seven games as England got all the way to the final before losing to Italy on penalties.
According to The Athletic, Chelsea are prepared to put Tammy Abraham on the table to make a deal for Rice more feasible.
The Blues value their front-man at £40million, which would make a significant dent in the £100m demanded by the Hammers, although it is still believed that they would have to bring down their asking price to see a deal go through.
That kind of compromise may be a possibility, given that the Hammers have previously shown interest in Abraham.
Although Michail Antonio has deputised well at striker and could indeed have future through the middle, Moyes still requires more depth up front.
It remains to be seen whether the east London side would be receptive to such an offer, but Borussia Dortmund reportedly rejected a similar approach for Erling Haaland which involved Abraham.
With a deal for the Norwegian looking increasingly unworkable, the Blues could be best served turning their full attention towards Rice.
The Englishman left Chelsea’s academy as a 14-year-old but has remained good friends with Mason Mount, suggesting a reunion at Stamford Bridge would be more than welcomed by the player.
Such a mammoth investment for a holding midfielder could pose questions, however, with Jorginho starring as one of the player’s of the tournament on his way to winning Euro 2020.
In light of that, breaking the bank to bring in Rice could be ill-advised, although there remains a remote possibility that Jorginho could leave the club amid interest from Serie A.
In that case, Tuchel and co. may be forced to go all out, while Abraham’s future remains up in the air as he is seemingly offered to every club Chelsea are seeking to do business with.