Chelsea are considering offering centre-back Fikayo Tomori to West Ham United on loan next season to aid their pursuit of the Hammers' Declan Rice.
21-year-old Rice, who came through Chelsea's academy ranks before being released at 14, has blossomed into an England international during his time with West Ham and has attracted interest from some top sides as a result of his performances in both midfield and defence.
Frank Lampard's interest in using Rice as a centre-back was revealed in late June and has since been backed up by The Athletic's Simon Johnson, who used his latest report to discuss the potential impact Rice's arrival could have on Tomori.
The 22-year-old has managed 22 appearances in all competitions this season, but has played just once in the Premier League in 2020 and has not even made the matchday squad in Chelsea's last four games.
Johnson states that Chelsea still have plenty of faith in Tomori and are not even contemplating the idea of selling him, but they are considering letting the Englishman leave Stamford Bridge on loan next season to ensure his development does not stall.
One potential destination for Tomori could be West Ham, with Chelsea open to the idea of sending him across London to try and make their negotiations for Rice a little easier.
There is expected to be plenty of interest in Tomori, who came close to joining Everton last August before David Luiz's shock move to Arsenal, but the Englishman will only go to a team who can guarantee him a starting role as he looks to earn a spot in Gareth Southgate's England squad for Euro 2021.
Chelsea agree that a move away would be best for Tomori as they want to see him eradicate some of the errors which crept into his game towards the end of his run in Lampard's starting lineup.
The boss has been concerned about some lapses in concentration from Tomori. He was dropped after the 2-1 win over Arsenal in December for that reason, and when he returned to the squad two months later to face Bournemouth, he was hauled off after just 45 minutes and hasn't been seen since.
With Chelsea fighting for the top four, Lampard cannot afford to risk playing Tomori, so Chelsea want to see the academy graduate overcome his issues elsewhere before returning to fulfil his potential at the Bridge.