But pulling off a transfer is still looking set to be a struggle with United also credited with interest once again, having failed to sign Rice last summer.
With Chelsea adopting such an aggressive spending strategy this summer, the club are expected to need additional transfer funds through player sales – despite holding a healthy financial position this season.
Inter Milan have reportedly lodged a bid for Emerson Palmieri while Tiemoue Bakayoko is attracting attention from AC Milan and Atletico Madrid are set to take up their £48.5m option on Alvaro Morata.
Michy Batshuayi is also considered surplus to requirements but Chelsea will struggle to recoup the £33m they paid Marseille in 2016.
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