Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia faces inevitable £100m transfer call next year

Thomas Tuchel reviews Chelsea's draw with Manchester United

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Chelsea have enjoyed a strong start to the Premier League season with Thomas Tuchel’s troops sitting top after 13 games. In Tuchel’s first summer transfer window, Chelsea broke their transfer record to bring Romelu Lukaku back to the club.

He was the only marquee signing who joined Chelsea on a permanent basis, with Saul Niguez signing on a season-long loan.

Injury has forced Lukaku to miss a handful of games, but he’s coming back to full fitness just in time for the busy festive schedule.

In his absence, Chelsea have proven their strength in depth although last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United was the second time in three games they dropped points.

The Belgium international had long been linked with a return to Stamford Bridge after he initially left for good in 2013.

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His first stint at the club proved to be a disaster as he failed to live up to expectations before earning his stripes at West Brom and Everton.

He’s now blossomed into one of the world’s best strikers with Lukaku admitting in the summer that he always wanted to return to Chelsea due to some unfinished business.

Someone in a not too dissimilar position to Lukaku is West Ham’s Declan Rice, who was released by Chelsea as a teenager.

While he never made the breakthrough at Stamford Bridge, there have been multiple reports linking Rice with a switch back to his boyhood club.


Former Hammers star Tony Cottee believes Chelsea are the only club Rice would leave West Ham for.

“If Declan was to decide to leave, I think he’ll go to Chelsea,” Cottee told Betting Expert.

“The reason for that is he was at Chelsea as a kid. He is best friends with Mason Mount, and he’s grew up with all the young kids at the club.”

He added: “I don’t want him to leave, but if he was leaving, I think most of the West Ham fans wouldn’t be grudging towards the guy going to Chelsea. Because we all know that he was there as a kid.”

It seems inevitable that Chelsea will be in the mix should Rice indicate that he wants to try a new challenge away from West Ham.

But the Hammers have made it clear on a number of occasions that it will take a bid in the region of £100m for them to consider selling.

Chelsea aren’t short of options in midfield with Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and N’Golo Kante all preferred options at the moment, although the latter is being tipped for a move away from Stamford Bridge.

West Ham’s steep asking price may make Chelsea think twice, but they’ve proven already that they’re willing to give players a second chance at the club.

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