ARSENAL face fierce competition for summer transfer target Declan Rice with their London rivals chasing the midfielder.
Chelsea are reportedly interested in signing the West Ham captain this summer to add to their growing list of new arrivals.
Declan Rice has made 229 appearances for West Ham after rising through the ranks at their academy
The Blues have had a longstanding admiration for Rice, but Sky Sports journalist Florian Plettenberg took to Twitter to seemingly confirm their concrete interest.
He said: “Chelsea is definitely in the race and highly interested – confirmed! He’s one of the top candidates in order to strengthen the defensive midfield.”
Graham Potter’s side already splashed out a whopping £107million on Enzo Fernandez in January to sure up their midfield.
Rice is expected to leave The Hammers in the summer with his current contract due to expire in 2024.
The 24-year-old has been ever-present in David Moyes’ Premier League side this season managing two goals and two assists.
Arsenal have been heavily linked with attracting the England star to the Emirates Stadium despite their public interest in Brighton’s Moises Caicedo.
The league leaders are looking to improve on their squad depth as they gear up for a likely return to the Champions League for the first time in six years.
Mikel Arteta has already strengthened his midfield with the January addition of European Championship winner Jorginho.
Rice has long been touted for a move to a ‘big six’ club, but will be focused on keeping West Ham in the league until the summer.
The East London side are in a relegation scrap and currently find themselves in 17th place just two points off rock bottom.
They face bottom of the table Southampton in their next game at the London Stadium.