Chelsea are set to test the water at West Ham with a huge new Declan Rice part-exchange bid, Football Insider understands.
The west Londoners are ready to take their extraordinary summer recruitment drive to a remarkable new level after this afternoon reaching an agreement to sign goalkeeper Edouard Mendy from Rennes.
A Chelsea source has told Football Insider the club’s spending will not stop with the arrival of the Senegal international for a fee of around £20million.
Owner Roman Abramovich has given the green light for a mammoth Rice offer that is set to include England international Ross Barkley in part-exchange.
The Blues value the 26-year-old at around the £30million mark and are willing to let him go two-and-a-half years after his arrival from Everton.
Chelsea offered three of their first-team stars in part-exchange for Rice earlier this summer but are set to return with a new bid made up of a vast cash sum and just one first teamer.
The offer, including the player, is likely to be worth £70m in total.
West Ham’s public stance is that Rice is not for sale and they are not encouraging any bids.
Privately, Chelsea have been given some by both Hammers chiefs and the player himself.
But Frank Lampard’s team need to raise cash by offloading multiple players and are keen on a late-window exodus.
Lampard and his assistant Jody Morris are both big admirers of the versatility and pedigree of Rice.
They like the fact the the England international can play in defence and central midfield, and believe he has the potential to play at elite Premier League and Champions League level.
In other West Ham news, Moyes has made a U-turn over signing an England international barely seen over the past two seasons.