Chelsea are willing to offload Jorginho in order to raise funds for a bid for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, according to a report.
Rice has emerged as one of Chelsea’s top targets amid a busy summer of spending. The Blues have already signed Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech and reportedly want more players in before next season.
What’s more, Frank Lampard reportedly sees Rice as a potential leader who could reinforce their defensive third. However, the West Ham star will not come cheap – at least £70m.
According to Football Insider, Chelsea will not be able to afford that unless they make some sales first. And whereas previous reports had indicated they would offer fringe players as makeweights to West Ham, it is now claimed that one of their most senior players could make way.
That man is Jorginho, who has had a mixed time at Stamford Bridge since joining in 2018. The midfielder has become an important player under Lampard, but has only featured twice since the Premier League resumed.
Football Insider claim that Chelsea are now willing to listen to offers for Jorginho. Ex-Blues boss Maurizio Sarri has been linked with taking him to Juventus.
The Italian international has played under Sarri at Napoli and Chelsea, and could reunite with the coach again. Juventus have already added Arthur Melo to their midfield in a swap deal with Barcelona for Miralem Pjanic.
But while Chelsea would be losing a midfielder in Jorginho, it is believed they would use Rice as a defender.
Lampard has been searching for a leader at centre-back, like his former teammate John Terry. Even though Rice has risen to prominence as a midfielder, the Chelsea boss reportedly believes he could help the 21-year-old complete his conversion into being a defender.
So far, though, Lampard has dismissed interest publicly.
“Declan Rice is a good player, you’re right, and I’ve known Declan Rice for a long time, as he was in the Chelsea academy, but there’s no talk,” said Lampard back in June.
“I keep saying, about every player we’ll be asked about. Until these games and this season is finished, there’s nothing to say.”
MAN UTD BACK IN FOR RICE
Earlier this week, the same source claimed that Manchester United have revived their interest in Rice.
United were reportedly deterred by West Ham’s asking price last summer, but now they are again considering a move.
Ex-boss Sir Alex Ferguson is said to be an admirer, and even if West Ham stay in the Premier League, they are set to face a battle to keep their star man.