CHELSEA are reportedly ready to loan out Fikayo Tomori with the defender potentially heading to West Ham in the deal for Declan Rice.
Frank Lampard is a big fan of young Hammers star Rice with SunSport understanding that a £45million bid is incoming.
Deploying Rice, who was on Chelsea’s books as a schoolboy, as a centre-back is thought to be the Blues boss’ plan.
Lampard is said to see the 21-year-old as a John Terry-like figure who can lead the club for years to come.
Negotiations with West Ham will be difficult, particularly if David Moyes’ side survive their battle with relegation.
A price tag of around £70m has been reported and Tomori could be offered as a makeweight.
According to The Athletic, Chelsea are not willing to contemplate a permanent exit for the centre-back but a fresh loan is possible.
Tomori has only played once in the Premier League in 2020, in the 2-2 draw at Bournemouth that saw him substituted after the Cherries scored two quickfire goals at the start of the second-half.
Lampard’s decision to move away from a three-man defence has also coincided with the England international struggling with a hamstring injury, one that he is only just recovering from.
It is said that Chelsea still strongly believe in Tomori, 22, but game time is seen as vital to continuing his development.
After spells at Brighton, Hull and Derby, he has made 15 appearances in his debut Premier League season having spoken to Everton over a stint at Goodison Park last summer.
However it will not only be Tomori looking over his shoulder.
The Athletic have also described it as “likely” that Kurt Zouma would be the man moved on if Rice arrives, with the Frenchman similarly sat behind Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen in the pecking order.