Chelsea are desperate to sign English midfielder from London rivals this summer

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London club are interested in signing Declan Rice from West Ham United. Chelsea are keen to bolster with a defensive midfielder if the transfer window goes ahead this summer and are admirers of the midfielder.

England international is also close friends with Blues attacking midfielder Mason Mount and the pair have already impressed together for the national side.

Mason Mount was recently forced to apologise for playing football with Declan at Chelsea centre while he was supposed to be self-isolating, after team-mate Callum Hudson Odoi was diagnosed with coronavirus.

Former Republic of Ireland youth international Rice has been a consistent figure for Hammers and bagged two assists in 29 Premier League games before football was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 21-year-old midfielder would not come cheap, with four years left on his Hammers deal and the option of a further year’s extension.

Blues were in the market for a new young defensive midfielder in winter and were among the clubs interested in Boubakary Soumare, but the young French midfielder opted to remain at Lille.

It stays uncertain whether the UK transfer window will open as scheduled on June 18, with no definitive date set for when the current domestic campaign will be resumed amid a global health crisis.