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Chelsea ‘offer Batshuayi, Barkley as part of £80m for Rice swap deal

Tension is mounting at the bottom of the Premier League as the fight to avoid relegation heads towards a dramatic conclusion.

Chelsea reportedly offered Michy Batshuayi and Ross Barkley to West Ham in an £80million deal for Declan Rice.

But The Times reports the Hammers rejected the swap deal and are holding out for £80m in cash.

David Moyes’ side are not interested in taking on the rarely used pair.

Both Barkley and Batshuayi have had peripheral roles in Frank Lampard’s Chelsea set-up.

But the club were hoping to bring down the massive price tag on Rice’s name by offering some of their unwanted stars as a makeweight.

Chelsea were hopeful as West Ham previously tried to sign Batshuayi and Moyes coached Barkley at Everton, but it appears to have done them no favours.

Blues boss Lampard is desperate to bring in reinforcements to fix his leaky defence.

Chelsea conceded more goals than any other side in the Premier League’s top ten last season and has identified Rice as a potential solution.

The 21-year-old was released by the Blues as a teenager before joining West Ham aged 14.

Rice played every minute of every league game last term, but mainly in his usual position of central midfield.

However, Lampard is keen to use his versatility and convert him into a talismanic centre-back.

And fans were convinced Rice would return to Chelsea after being spotted with “agent” John Terry.

read also:Former Chelsea star brings ‘Rice’ to Stamford Bridge

Rice posed with the former Stamford Bridge hero in a post shared to Instagram by Aston Villa’s assistant manager.

And Lampard is hopeful he could have a similar impact to Terry if he can lure the England international back to West London.

Rice is currently on holiday with best mate and Chelsea star Mason Mount.

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