West Ham’s summer business could hinge on the future of Declan Rice, who the Hammers may be forced to sell in order to fund new signings.
Rice was crucial in midfield as David Moyes masterminded a late charge out of the relegation zone, finishing the 2019-20 campaign in 16th, five points clear of the drop.
The 21-year-old didn’t miss a minute of the Premier League season and has attracted attention from boyhood club Chelsea, who are weighing-up a bid for the £70m-rated midfielder.
While they would prefer to keep the England international, the Hammers may be forced to let the youngster leave in order to fund bids for Moyes’ transfer targets, according to the Sun.
Manuel Lanzini, Felipe Anderson and Fabian Balbuena are reportedly also up for sale, with Championship talents Eberechi Eze and Brentford’s Said Benrahma both being eyed-up as Moyes looks to add more firepower to his squad.
West Ham fans would be gutted at the sight of Rice leaving, after the youngster broke into the first-team and established himself as a top-flight star following his first-team debut in 2017.
Chelsea are favourites to sign Rice, with Frank Lampard’s side representing a serious step up for the Londoner after qualifying for the Champions League.
Rice is also close friends with breakout Blues sensation Mason Mount, having rose through the age groups together at the west Londoners’ academy.
The midfielder has seven caps in Gareth Southgate’s England side and could be played at centre-back in Lampard’s Blues system, attempting to solve their leaky back-line.