West Ham risk losing Declan Rice in the final days of the transfer window now that Chelsea have axed Ross Barkley.
Barkley on Wednesday completed a loan move to Aston Villa for the remainder of the season, having made three appearances for the Blues at the start of the campaign.
It was expected Frank Lampard would attempt to trim his squad in the final weeks of the window after Chelsea’s busy summer, which has seen them bring in Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Malang Sarr, Thiago Silva, Kai Havertz and Edouard Mendy.
The arrivals of Ziyech, Werner and Havertz in particular resulted in Barkley’s departure, as they take precedence in Lampard’s pecking order along with Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic.
And getting rid of Barkley may allow Chelsea to complete their most desired transfer of the summer and strengthen their squad in a necessary position.
Conceding goals has been a huge problem for the Blues under Lampard, and he has long sought to sign Declan Rice from West Ham to utilise him in both defensive midfield and as a centre-back.
The Hammers are reportedly demanding more than £80million for one of their most prized assets, but Chelsea have not shied away from splashing the cash this summer and Roman Abramovich has openly backed Lampard in the transfer market.
A separate issue arose over fitting Rice’s salary into Chelsea’s wage budget, but former West Ham ace Trevor Sinclair believes this is no longer a problem for the Blues as Barkley has been removed from the books.
“One of the biggest problems for football clubs is week to week wages,” said Sinclair on Wednesday’s White and Sawyer.
“So getting Ross Barkley off the wages to bring in Declan Rice makes sense, unfortunately.”
Rice began his career in the Chelsea academy but was released at age 14, and he has since developed into one of the brightest prospects in the English game.
It is no secret that Chelsea want to reunite with their former starlet, but is Barkley’s loan exit a sign they are now preparing a late, late swoop for Lampard’s top target?
By: Billy Hawkins
Title: West Ham warned that Ross Barkley loan to Aston Villa paves the way for Declan Rice to sign for Chelsea – ‘It makes sense, unfortunately’
Sourced From: talksport.com/football/767078/west-ham-news-ross-barkley-loan-aston-villa-declan-rice-chelsea-transfer/
Published Date: Thu, 01 Oct 2020 06:00:26 +0000