What Chelsea reportedly did in Italy on D-day proves their true intentions over a long-rumoured move for West Ham star Declan Rice.

West Ham have had to endure speculation that Rice could return to his boyhood club for over two years now.

And the situation will be settled one way or another this summer with Hammers fans well aware of the club’s alleged private agreement to sell Rice after he rejected the biggest contract offer in West Ham history.

Speaking to Hammers News earlier this season, West Ham majority stakeholder David Sullivan spoke out to deny reports of talks with Chelsea owner Todd Boehly over a deal for Rice last summer.

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Chelsea discarded Rice as a 14-year-old and he has gone on to become one of the best midfielders in world football at West Ham.

The Hammers have had to suffer seeing some of their best academy products enjoy success with the Blues over the years. From John Terry and Frank Lampard to Joe Cole and Glenn Johnson.

So the prospect of seeing Rice moving to their west London rivals does not sit well with many West Ham supporters.

Arsenal have entered the running in the last couple of months while Newcastle are also reported to be interested.

And yesterday talkSPORT’s Jim White claimed Manchester United had a £100 million bid for Rice rejected last summer.

There is a belief that, given the choice, Rice would join Chelsea, who are certainly not shy when it comes to spending money since their American takeover.

But Rice may not have the Blues as an option when the next window rolls around.

Because what Chelsea reportedly did in Italy on D-day proves their true intentions over a long-rumoured move for West Ham star Rice.

Not only did Chelsea break the British transfer record to sign midfielder Enzo Fernandez – who has admitted modelling his game on Rice.

But they also had a delegation in Italy trying to sign one of the defensive midfield stars of the World Cup, Sofyan Amrabat.

That’s according to Italian transfer reporter Fabrizio Romano.

“Chelsea explored Sofyan Amrabat as deadline day option before Enzo deal sealed,” Romano claimed on Twitter.

“Direct contacts took place… but Fiorentina were never open to let him leave on loan.

“Many top clubs will keep following the Moroccan midfielder for the future.”

Teamtalk claim Chelsea will consider trying again for the international teammate of West Ham star Nayef Aguerd come the summer.

Chelsea might be spending crazy money right now.

But there is absolutely no way they intend to sign Rice having brought in Fernandez and with their eyes also on Amrabat.

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Conor Gallagher and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are both said to be highly-regarded by Graham Potter and the owners.

And then there’s N’Golo Kante too.

Would Rice even entertain a move there with that number of players in the same position given he relishes playing every minute of all the big games for West Ham and England?

One thing is for certain, Arsenal will be encouraged by Chelsea’s attempts to sign Amrabat because it could well clear the path for them to land Rice.

Today, West Ham sporting director Mark Noble says Hammers fans cannot blame Rice for wanting to leave the club and all but confirmed his departure this summer.


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