By Joe Ellis

24th Jun, 2022 | 4:32pm

West Ham United reject Chelsea approach for Declan Rice, double swap deal could be offered

West Ham United have turned down an approach for star player Declan Rice from Chelsea but the saga could rumble on, according to 90min.

The new owners at Stamford Bridge have reignited the Blues’ interest in the 23-year-old but their most recent attempts to initiate conversations between the two clubs have failed hopelessly.

Despite the failure, Chelsea may return for another attempt to sign Rice this summer and there could be not just one but two players used as bargaining chips in the deal.

Armando Broja, who the Hammers are already keen to sign this summer [The Times], and England international Ross Barkley could be offered in exchange for Rice but the Blues would still have to cough up a significant amount of money.

Chelsea believe that Broja, in particular, could be the one who tests the resolve of West Ham given their retained interest in the Albanian striker but the Irons are adamant that Rice is not for sale this summer.

Stubborn

In fairness, this is a pretty smart move by Chelsea to offer a player we are keenly interested in as a way to get this deal done but we are not that naive to fall for it.

We know that they are going to have to spend an enormous amount of money to buy Rice regardless of the players they include in the deal so we can happily relax and let them drive themselves mad until they either pay what we are asking or pull out of their pursuit.

With Rice under contract until 2024, we are in no big rush to sell the man who is almost unquestionably our best player and we could yet earn the Champions League football he yearns to play before that time runs out.

Such is the chopping and changing at Stamford Bridge, in terms of both players and managers, Rice may not even fancy such a move for fear of being kicked out just as he gets settled in the team.