EletiofeWest Ham rule out swapping Rice for Chelsea's Barkley...

West Ham rule out swapping Rice for Chelsea’s Barkley and Batshuayi

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  • Chelsea have explored using the pair as part of a deal
  • West Ham adamant they have no intention of selling Rice

West Ham’s Declan Rice slides to try to dispossess Chelsea’s Ross Barkley at the London Stadium on 1 July.






West Ham’s Declan Rice slides to try to dispossess Chelsea’s Ross Barkley at the London Stadium on 1 July.
Photograph: Adam Davy/NMC Pool/PA Wire/PA

West Ham will turn down any attempt by Chelsea to offer Michy Batshuayi and Ross Barkley as part of a deal for Declan Rice and are adamant they have no intention of selling the midfielder.

Frank Lampard is searching for defensive reinforcements and has targeted Rice, who was released by Chelsea at the age of 14. The England international has flourished as a defensive midfielder in the past two seasons but is also capable of playing in central defence.

Chelsea, who are closing in on a deal to sign the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz, have explored the possibility of offering Batshuayi and Barkley in exchange for Rice. David Moyes tried to sign Barkley on loan in January and gave the midfielder his debut at Everton and West Ham missed out on Batshuayi when the striker joined Chelsea in 2016.

Although West Ham need to sell players to raise their transfer budget, it is understood they are not interested in a swap deal involving Batshuayi and Barkley and are confident they are capable of holding on to Rice. A move across the capital would appeal to the 21-year-old but his contract runs until 2024, enabling West Ham to put a hefty price on him. Another snag is that Batshuayi, who has a year on a contract worth £120,000 a week, is said to have no interest in joining West Ham.

West Ham, who are monitoring the Queens Park Rangers forward Eberechi Eze and the Wigan defenders Antonee Robinson and Cédric Kipré, have players to sell before Rice. There are doubts over the futures of Felipe Anderson, Fabián Balbuena, Manuel Lanzini and Andriy Yarmolenko. West Brom could look to make Grady Diangana’s loan permanent if they win promotion. The winger has impressed in the Championship this season.

Chelsea will have to come up with alarge offer to tempt West Ham into selling Rice and are likely to need to offload squad players after spending heavily to improve their attack with the signings of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech. Havertz is expected to follow in a deal worth at least £70m.

Lampard, whose side have struggled defensively, will need to make room in attack. Batshuayi is out of favour and although Barkley has had a decent campaign, the England midfielder could find opportunities limited if Havertz arrives.

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