Chelsea are weighing up a move for Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare as a potential alternative to West Ham’s Declan Rice, according to reports in the UK.
The Blues were linked with an offer for the France Under 21 international back in January, while Manchester United and Liverpool have also been mentioned as potential suitors over the past few months.
Lille’s president Gerard Lopez has already confirmed that Soumare will be allowed to leave the Ligue One side before the transfer window shuts, with the club having already received a number of bids for the player:
“In terms of Boubakary, as we play with two in the midfield… The door is open if he wants to leave. We have had important offers from clubs where he did not want to go. ll three parties have to agree for a transfer to occur… He’s quite impatient to play and that’s normal. It shows ambition. He will undoubtedly leave the club, the door is open. We have concrete offers. We will talk in the coming days.”
The 21-year-old is likely to be less expensive than Rice at around £50m. The Hammers have reportedly slapped a £75m price tag on the England international’s head, and Chelsea’s transfer budget is unlikely to stretch that far unless the club can offload some fringe players.
Whether the Blues will make a formal offer for Soumare, we shall have to wait and see, but it looks as though the Frenchman will be on the move come what may.