West Ham tipped to sanction 'massive' Rice sale in Abraham part-exchange - pundit
Noel Whelan has suggested West Ham will consider a swap deal involving Declan Rice and Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham.
The former Leeds forward, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 23-year-old hitman would be an upgrade on Michail Antonio.
The Telegraph claim Chelsea have revived interest in Rice ahead of the summer and could offer Abraham in a cash-plus-player swap deal.
The report states the Irons value Rice at around £90million, £20million more than last summer.
It is also said Rice would prefer a move to Chelsea, where he spent time in the youth academy, over Manchester United or Manchester City.
Whelan admitted while West Ham may not want to lose the midfielder, getting Abraham in return would be “massively” tempting.
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Asked if a swap deal would soften the blow, Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “I think it massively would.
“They need a striker, they got rid of Haller and not replaced him. You’ve got Antonio, who was fantastic last season but he’s prone to a few injuries.
“When you’re looking at age, you’re letting go a 22-year-old and bringing in a 23-year-old. He’s a striker proven in the Premier League, who can score goals and work that line just as much, if not better, than Antonio.
“That would make perfect sense because I’m pretty sure Tammy Abraham won’t want to leave London either.
“When you look at the geography of everything, the ages of the two players and what’s required at both clubs, it does make sense. Jigsaw pieces fit.”
Abraham has struggled for game time since Thomas Tuchel’s appointment at Chelsea.
He scored six times in 26 league games during the 2020/21 campaign.