Chelsea are targeting West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, and are interested in bringing their former academy product back to Stamford Bridge in the summer​.

Rice spent seven years in the Chelsea youth system before releasing him at the age of 14. He subsequently joined the West Ham academy, and has gone on to make 100 appearances for the club, earning international recognition for England.

After their transfer ban prevented the club from signing players in the 2019 summer transfer window, Chelsea were in the market for a defensive midfielder this January.

Declan Rice

However, a move for Lille's Boubakary Soumare failed to materialise, and according to a ​Sky Sports report, the Blues have now got their eye on someone a little closer to home.

The report states that ​Chelsea are 'admirers' of Rice, and are keen to land him should this summer's transfer window take place as usual following the chaos caused by the impact of the coronavirus on the footballing calendar.

Rice is good friends with Chelsea youngster Mason Mount, with the pair rising through the ranks at Stamford Bridge together.

Mason Mount,Declan Rice

The duo have already impressed together when teaming up on international duty for England.

Mount was recently ​fined by the club for playing football with Rice in north London, despite the entire Chelsea team being under orders to self-isolate following Callum Hudson-Odoi's coronavirus diagnosis. 

Should Chelsea maintain their interest in Mount, they'd have to fork out a hefty sum to prise him away from ​West Ham.

The 21-year-old still has four years remaining on his contract at the London Stadium, with the option of a further year, after he put pen to paper on a long-term deal in December 2018.

Chelsea could, however, secure Rice on a cut-price deal if West Ham are relegated. 

The club currently sit above the Premier League drop zone on goal difference, but should the season resume - despite Karren Brady's wishes - and the east London side not survive the drop, the Hammers may need to offload their prized assets to cope with the financial hit of relegation.