KEY POINTS

  • Chelsea is highly interested in signing Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham, a report said
  • The Blues are said to have figured that Bellingham could be a better signing than West Ham's Declan Rice
  • West Ham manager David Moyes made a shocking claim about Rice's transfer

Chelsea may have just found a better value-for-money signing than West Ham United’s Declan Rice, a report suggests.

In his first season with Borussia Dortmund, Jude Bellingham has already caught the attention of big-name clubs outside of Bundesliga.

Manchester United and Manchester City were among the top English Premier League clubs linked to a move for Bellingham, reports said. However, it is now Chelsea that has become the new frontrunner in landing the English midfielder, Discovery Channel-owned outlet Eurosport reported.

According to the report, Bellingham “ticks so many boxes” in the list of an ideal central midfielder, and Chelsea is the club “most interested” in luring him at this stage, hoping to build a team under new boss Thomas Tuchel.

The report added that the Blues’ recruitment team has deemed Bellingham as a “better buy” than longtime target and West Ham star midfielder Rice. However, it was also noted that Chelsea is well aware that raiding the 17-year-old from Borussia Dortmund will be “difficult” as the German side is also considering including the youngster in their future plans.

Further, Bellingham is believed to be “happy” to stay at Dortmund regardless of how the club performs, the report said. Atop that, the central midfielder is being touted to play a key role alongside the team’s frontmen Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland.

Bellingham has managed to make his stamp in Dortmund, having played 34 games in his debut season at the German top flight. To date, the teenager has already bagged two goals and dished out four assists.

Jude Bellingham of Birmingham City Jude Bellingham of Birmingham City Photo: Getty Images | James Williamson - AMA

Rice, on the other hand, is still one of the most sought-after midfielders in the sport. The Hammers star has been linked to an array of top clubs across Europe, but his staggering market value has seen his suitors weighing things up when it comes to a transfer swoop.

It is widely reported that Rice’s price tag is around the region of £100 million ($138 million). However, West Ham manager David Moyes insisted that it could be “far more” than the said figure.

“For me, I have watched the prices of some players who have gone to clubs recently and they could not lace Declan Rice’s boots,” Moyes said last month. "I don’t agree with [West Ham] owners that Declan Rice is a £100 million footballer, [it is] far, far more than £100 million.”

"Declan is under contract first and foremost, so he can’t go anywhere no matter what and I keep saying and I hope people know that when I say something I mean it,” he added. “We’ve not had an offer for Declan Rice and I hope we don’t get one."