Chelsea could send Fikayo Tomori out on loan next season in order to sign Declan Rice, according to reports.
Rice, 22, has predominantly played as a holding midfielder for West Ham over the past three seasons, but also has the ability to operate in central defence.
And the England international has been identified as a long-term defensive option for Chelsea, who released Rice from their academy as a 14-year-old.
Manager David Moyes has publicly said he wants to keep hold of the midfielder and the club quoted a price tag upwards of £70million in order to dissuade potential suitors.
As a result, Chelsea are reportedly ready to offer Tomori on loan in order to convince West Ham to sanction the transfer.
According to The Athletic, Tomori will leave on a temporary deal in order to make way for a new centre-back signing next season and could join the Hammers as leverage.
The 22-year-old started the season in the starting XI but has fallen out of favour and made just three appearances since the turn of the year.
Tomori was close to joining Everton on loan last summer but the deal was pulled following David Luiz’s move to Arsenal.
The Toffees could come back in for the centre-back but Chelsea would likely be more keen to see Tomori join West Ham if it helps them snap up Rice.