Chelsea suffer major transfer blow as West Ham plan huge gesture to keep Declan Rice

Chelsea transfer target Declan Rice is set to be offered a huge new contract to tempt him into committing his future to West Ham, according to The Sun.

Rice is one of Chelsea’s only remaining transfer targets after their £250million spending spree.

Signing the West Ham midfielder was one of Frank Lampard’s top priorities going into the summer window, but he proved to be too expensive for them to afford.

Deals to sign Kai Havertz for £72m, Timo Werner for £53m and Ben Chilwell for £50m severely depleted their budget, and they were subsequently forced to abandon their pursuit of Rice.

West Ham were determined to keep the 21-year-old this summer and slapped a £73m price tag on his head.

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Chelsea are reportedly still eager to sign him at some point, and have been tipped to reignite their interest in next summer’s window.

However, West Ham are now doing all they ca to prevent that from happening, and will allegedly give him a bumper new deal.

The Sun reports Rice will be offered a new contract which will make him the club’s highest earner.

Felipe Anderson currently holds that title, raking in £120,000-per-week, though he has failed to look too impressive since joining the club and joined Porto on loan last week.

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The Hammers also want to extend Rice’s contract, which currently has two-and-a-half years left to run.

Earlier this week, transfer expert Ian McGarry claimed Chelsea will make another bid to sign Rice in the January transfer window, because he was the only target they missed out on.

“They had only one disappointment for Frank Lampard and that was that they did not manage to get Declan Rice from West Ham,” McGarry said on the Transfer Window podcast.

“It is our information that West Ham’s fee for Rice was in excess of £60m, which in the end proved just too much for Chelsea right now, who have decided to postpone the pursuit of Rice, although they remain interested in the player very much.

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“They will probably go with Kurt Zouma and Thiago Silva in central defender, whereas Frank Lampard’s plan was to play Declan Rice in the middle of a back three initially.

“However, that interest could be resurrected in January and if not, in next summer’s window where of course Rice will be a further year out of contract and West Ham may be more inclined to sell.”

Lampard is believed to want to play Rice in the middle of a three-man centre-back line-up, after the Blues moved to strengthen their defence in the summer.

Thiago Silva joined on a free from Paris Saint-Germain, while Malang Sarr signed after leaving OGC Nice, but was loaned out to Porto.

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