Chelsea reportedly have a figure in mind which would see them sign Declan Rice and forgo their permanent option on Saul Niguez.
The Blues were linked with countless different midfielders over the summer, from wildcard solutions like AS Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni to England star and former Chelsea academy member Declan Rice.
Ultimately, it was Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez who arrived to fill the void in Thomas Tuchel’s squad in the middle of the park. The Spaniard joined on an initial loan with the view to make it permanent.
While you’d expect Chelsea to take up their option on Saul if he’s able to get back to his best under Tuchel, there does appear to be a scenario in which they’d decided against it.
According to Don Balon, if Chelsea were able to convince West Ham to sell Rice for a figure in the region of £70m, he would become their priority transfer target in midfield.
The Hammers stood firm on their valuation this summer, but come 2022 Rice will have a year less on his contract and the East Londoners would subsequently have less bargaining power.
Of course, if Saul is a revelation at Stamford Bridge then we may never see Rice in a Chelsea shirt again. In that scenario, you’d imagine Manchester United would be ready and willing to house him.