Chelsea are ready to offer Fikayi Tomori to West Ham on loan as a makeweight to sign Declan Rice, according to the Daily Mail.
Boss Frank Lampard has added to his attacking options with the signings of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech.
It would seem, however, that he is keen to add some defensive steel to his midfield ranks, with Rice firmly in his sights.
West Ham are asking for north of £70 million for the 21-year-old and Chelsea could let Tomori head to the London Stadium on loan.
The centre-back was released by the Hammers as a youngster and despite featuring under Lampard this season, he has failed to hold down a place in the team.
Rice has played 105 games for West Ham and his performances are now attracting interest from the league’s big boys.
The Hammers beat Chelsea 3-2 last week, injecting some life into their bid to stay in the Premier League.
Cheslea are currently fighting to win a place in next season’s Champions League. If they do qualify for club football’s elite competition then Rice would surely be interested in a switch across London.
It would be no surprise to see Lampard utilise Rice as a defender at Chelsea. Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma and Antonio Rudiger have all flattered to deceive at times this season.
Losing Rice would be a blow to the Hammers, although taking one-cap England international Tomori on loan might help sweeten them up a little bit.
With £70 million in the bank, a replacement would have to be sought and David Moyes would need to ensure he got his spending spot on.
Following Sunday’s draw with Newcastle, West Ham are four points clear of the relegation zone and play Burnley at home tomorrow.
Losing Rice to a London rival might sting but ultimately the Hammers will have to do what is right for the club.