By Paul Robinson

14th Sep, 2020 | 1:30pm

'That could happen' - Exclusive: Robinson on potential blockbuster West Ham swap deal

Paul Robinson has claimed that Declan Rice’s “head has been turned by speculation” after the West Ham midfielder produced an uncharacteristic performance against Newcastle at the weekend.

The former England number one, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, said a transfer to Chelsea is still “a distinct possibility” for the 21-year-old and it has having an affect on the player.

Rice was squandered possession on numerous occasions for David Moyes’s side on Saturday as they lost 2-0 to a new-look Newcastle United side.

The England international has been the subject of strong interest Chelsea this summer and Football Insider revealed on Friday that the Blues latest offer is to include Ross Barkley as part of a swap deal that will also see a huge cash sum heading to the London Stadium.

Robinson fears for the Hammers after their showing on the opening day of the season.

“I think Declan Rice’s head has been turned by speculation,” he told Football Insider.

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“It is hard for it not to be when you are playing in a team that is in the bottom half of the Premier League and you are linked with a club the size of Chelsea. There is a distinct possibility that the transfer could happen.

“West Ham were very poor and I expected more from them on Saturday. New season but a familiar story. It was worrying from a West Ham point of view.”

Speaking after the loss, Rice told Sky Sports: “I don’t think we could have played any worse, to be honest with you. It was poor as a team and individually.

“The manager has said to us that it was such a poor game from us and there is no time to be playing poorly in the Premier League and we found that out last season.”

In other news, West Ham have been told to sign ‘their Van Dijk’ after mammoth new bid.