Chelsea eyeing Jude Bellingham deal as alternative target to Declan Rice

Chelsea will reportedly target Borussia Dortmund youngster Jude Bellingham if they fail in their attempt to prise Declan Rice away from West Ham.

The Blues have been heavily linked with a move for Rice in recent months, with Frank Lampard keen to add another defensive midfielder to his ranks.

West Ham are said to have slapped an eye-watering £80million price tag on the 21-year-old, nevertheless, which proved too steep for Chelsea following their £220million summer spending spree.

Reports suggest the west London club could come back in for Rice at the turn of the year, or failing that in the next summer transfer window.

Yet according to Eurosport, there are some Chelsea officials who believe waiting to sign Bellingham from Dortmund would be a better move.

The 17-year-old, who earned his first senior cap for England last week, joined Dortmund in a £25million switch from Birmingham back in July.

He has already become a key member of Lucien Favre’s squad at Signal Iduna Park, racking up 11 appearances and registering his first goal.

It is believed Chelsea are keeping close tabs on the starlet, who could be the perfect long-term successor to N’Golo Kante at the heart of their midfield.

Kante has flourished when used as a sole midfield anchor by Lampard in recent outings, yet there are doubts over how long the France international will remain in SW6.

Should he move on in the next few years, certain Blues chiefs feel Bellingham would represent a more suitable long-term replacement for Kante.

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It is believed they like the fact he is capable of operating as both an anchor or a box-to-box midfielder, with Rice more suited to playing at centre-half or defensive midfield.

Chelsea could face competition for Bellingham from Manchester United, nevertheless, who were tipped to sign him before Dortmund got a deal over the line.

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