Paul Robinson has claimed West Ham will struggle to keep hold of Declan Rice if they suffer relegation from the Premier League this season.
The former England number one, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, suggested the Hammers will get asset-stripped if they fail to beat the drop.
According to Sky Sports, the 21-year-old is interesting Chelsea this summer as they look to bolster their midfield with the addition of the England international they released as a youth.
Rice has made 30 appearances in a disappointing campaign for David Moyes’ side who currently sit 16th – two points above the drop.
When asked he could see the defensive midfielder at Stamford Bridge next season, Robinson told Football Insider: “I like him. I think he is a great player but he can add more to his game. The defensive side of his game – his positional sense and the way he breaks up the play is excellent.
“The way that he plays at his age, there is more to come, and maybe Frank sees that in him being a midfielder himself. His mate Mount is there as well so it would be an easy transition for him. Frank is building and he fits the mould.
“I rate him but there is still a lot more to improve upon. He is not there yet, but there is the potential to be a top-class player.
“West Ham will struggle to keep a hold of him if they are relegated – without a doubt. The way business has been conducted there recently, they will be asset-stripped.”
Rice started his career with the Blues before moving to The Irons academy in 2013 and establishing himself as a regular at the London Stadium.