Chelsea are said to have planned a transfer deal with West Ham that would see Declan Rice move to Stamford Bridge and Tammy Abraham go in the opposite direction.
According to The Athletic, Blues transfer chief Marina Granovskaia has made Rice a prime target and knows he wants to join the club. She will therefore offer Abraham in return in order to keep him away from the London stadium.
Chelsea had Rice on their books in their academy since he was eight, but released him when he was 14 – a decision they made.
It’s no secret that the West London club are keen to re-sign the midfielder, whose stock has grown significantly following his brilliant rise at West Ham and superb performances with England at the Euro 2020.
Blues boss Thomas Tuchel is said to be an admirer of the 22-year-old and he is ready to allow Abraham to leave to reduce fees charged to the player.
Abraham fell out of favor under Tuchel when he arrived in January, starting just three matches since taking over from Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea are confident Abraham will lower West Ham’s application fees, with reports suggesting they are asking for up to £ 100million for his services.
Former West Ham and Chelsea forward Carlton Cole, who made 324 combined appearances for both London clubs, believes the time has come for Abraham to leave the Blues.
“You get to a point where you have to know your worth,” Cole told Tuesday’s Breakfast show.
“He’s gone on loan, has done well at Aston Villa and Swansea, has returned to Chelsea and they still don’t value him in a way he feels he should be valued.
“He didn’t play the full-back last season and he’s obviously not in Tuchel’s plans.
“Tuchel obviously doesn’t like him, so I would look at other options so he can be the main man here.”
When asked if West Ham could afford it, Cole added: I think so, yes. I don’t know the president’s pockets but they spent on other players, so why not?
“A place like West Ham is good for him. The only thing I’m skeptical about is his heist game, so he can use me as a trainer!