Chelsea are reportedly so desperate to land West Ham United star Declan Rice they are willing to treble their offer, quite literally.
Rice was released by Chelsea at 14 and joined West Ham, where he has become one of the hottest properties in Europe.
Equally adept at playing in central midfield and defence, Rice has also established himself in the England squad.
Rice speculation not going away
But the 21-year-old West Ham star has been consistently linked with a big money return to Chelsea this summer (Daily Mail).
West Ham insiders Claret & Hugh claim the club insist Rice is not for sale.
Hammers fans want their midfield enforcer to be made West Ham captain in the near future.
And it is hoped he will stick around to lead David Moyes’s planned revolution built on signing young, energetic players hungry to prove themselves in the Premier League.
Speculation emerged recently that Chelsea may look to include a player in any deal for Rice to try and tempt West Ham into doing business.
Chelsea sources claim Lampard willing to offer West Ham three players – report
And now a new report from Football Insider claims Frank Lampard is willing to literally treble that offer – by sending THREE Blues players to the London Stadium in exchange for Rice.
West Ham desperately need to improve their team in several areas this summer, chiefly defence and up front.
And Football Insider claims Chelsea are willing to use defenders Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori and striker Michy Batshuayi to tempt the Hammers.
“Rice’s mammoth price tag means a straight cash deal would be very difficult even for a club of Chelsea’s riches and especially in the wake of the new signings of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech,” Football Insider reports.
“A Blues source has told Football Insider the club will offer West Ham one or more of Fikayo Tomori, Kurt Zouma and Michy Batshuayi in exchange for Rice.
“Chelsea are willing to be flexible on any of the trio, although Tomori will only be available for a season-long loan. Zouma and Batshuayi, who have both been targeted by West Ham in the past, could be offloaded on loan or permanently.
“Chelsea’s willingness to let the trio head to east London is a measure of how keen they are to sign Rice.”
Three not the magic number for West Ham to replace Rice
While those three players would undoubtedly improve West Ham, would they replace what Rice brings to the side?
Rice is comfortably a better defender than both Tomori and Zouma.
And West Ham would still need to go out and find a defensive midfielder to try and step into Rice’s shoes too.
West Ham fans are sick of links to Batshuayi, who has turned the club down on more than one occasion.
And he has been a flop at Chelsea, which begs the question why West Ham would suddenly get a tune out of the Belgian.