It was a busy summer transfer window for Chelsea with no less than seven first-team signings.
Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Kai Havertz, and Edouard Mendy are all available to head coach Frank Lampard for the 2020/21 season, while Malang Sarr is one for the future.
Whilst six have arrived to bolster the first-team squad, once again a number of players have been allowed to leave on loan including the likes of Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek who have joined Aston Villa and Fulham respectively.
Marina Granovskaia was once again the director who negotiated the deals for the new players, and any future transfers are likely to go through her again.
As revealed by football.london, one of her next two Chelsea transfer priorities to complete Frank Lampard’s squad is to sign a defensive midfielder.
The top target for Lampard is West Ham United’s Declan Rice.
As transfer deadline day fast approached, talk of a switch to Stamford Bridge for the England international refused to go away following an impressive start to the season.
However, despite holding an interest in Rice, the Blues never put in a formal bid as they were unable to move on other players permanently to raise funds.
In addition, West Ham were also not willing to come to the table to negotiate for one of their star men, which meant reaching an agreement was almost impossible.
But could the Hammers’ stance change ahead of the next two transfer windows?
It would appear the answer is no as the Sun have reported that they are set to double Rice’s wages with a new contract offer in an attempt to keep him at the club.
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Should Rice sign a new deal at the London Stadium, then Chelsea will have to look at alternatives.
Boubakary Soumare, who they have been linked with before, could be an option.
The Lille midfielder is getting a decent reputation from his time in Ligue 1, and being only 21 he has the potential to develop into a top player in the future.