According to the Athletic (subscription required), Chelsea could loan out Fikayo Tomori to West Ham in an effort to sweeten their chances of securing the signature of Declan Rice from the Hammers.
Frank Lampard has earmarked Rice as the prime target to bolster Chelsea’s defence next season, the Blues intend to deploy their former academy man in a centre-back role rather in defensive midfield.
The Athletic claim that the west London outfit are open to loaning Tomori out next season after the ace has played a limited role for the Blues in the second-half of this season, the youngster is now behind Kurt Zouma, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen in the pecking order.
Tomori’s less role is in part due to the ace’s troubles with injuries since the turn of the year.
The Sun recently reported that Chelsea are confident of signing 21-year-old Rice for £45m this summer, even though the Hammers are holding out for £70m.
On paper, this deal looks as though it could solve problems for all parties. Chelsea would land Rice and West Ham would net a significant fee plus a top quality defender in Tomori for the season.
However, the deal following this formula perhaps relies too much on West Ham avoiding relegation this season.
If the Hammers dropped into the Championship, taking Tomori on loan would be impossible, the ace is now an England international and has proved himself at Premier League level.
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Rice has been one of West Ham’s few bright sparks this season, the ace has made 33 appearances in the Premier League and has continued to feature for England.
Rice is an ideal option to shore up Chelsea’s shaky defensive ranks, he’s tenacious in winning the ball back and he also fits the modern mould of a centre-back with his ball-playing abilities.