The £15.1million reason Chelsea could look to avoid Declan Rice transfer

Chelsea continue to be linked with West Ham United star Declan Rice – but it appears they would have to pay over the odds to land the midfielder.

Rice was linked with a move to Stamford Bridge throughout last summer amid Chelsea’s spending spree which totalled more than £200million.

But with Frank Lampard choosing to strengthen in other areas, Rice stayed put and has continued to impress for the Hammers in what has been a decent first half of the season under David Moyes.

Not that rumours linking Rice with Chelsea have gone away, the Blues continuing to be tipped with a move for the young England international either in this window or the next.

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And it does seem like it would have to be the latter with Chelsea unlikely to splash out big again in this window given Lampard has not exactly encouraged owner Roman Abramovich into further spending amid a poor start to the campaign.

The Blues are currently in ninth place, despite that huge spending bill in the summer, and some of those new arrivals are yet to prove their worth.

Rice could be an option in the summer, though, even if West Ham continue to play hardball with a reported valuation of £80m.

But is that a price Chelsea should pay? Not according to the CIES Football Observatory, who have calculated with a variety of statistics that Rice is actually only worth £64.83million.

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