The England international has long been linked with a move to the Blues, who released him from their youth system as a 15-year-old.
Chelsea’s defensive problems have seen Blues head coach Frank Lampard eyeing reinforcements to his back-line this summer.
And according to widespread reports, Rice is the leading transfer priority in terms of centre-backs, as Lampard believes the Hammers star is versatile enough to play in the back four.
On Tuesday, Sky Sports journalist Angelo Mangiante claimed that Chelsea had submitted their first official bid of £50million for Rice as they continue to try and strengthen ahead of next season.
football.london understands that those claims are wide of the mark, with no bid made for the midfielder yet.
But the Blues’ interest has still been met with enthusiasm, especially from Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount.
Mount, who is a close friend of Rice since their days in the Chelsea academy, showed his approval for the plans by ‘liking’ a post from Sport Bible which reported Chelsea’s supposed bid for Rice.
Why should you sign up?
Kai Havertz is the talk of all Chelsea fans at the moment and football.london will bring you the very latest updates on the Blues’ transfer pursuit of the Bayer Leverkusen star.
By signing up for our Chelsea newsletter, you will receive a once-daily email, the majority of which will contain the very latest on Havertz, his future and the latest transfer goings-on generally at Chelsea.
We’ll also send out special newsletters on Havertz with any big breaking news around his future and how it impacts Chelsea.
How do you sign up?
It’s easy and only takes seconds.
Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article – or any article on the Chelsea section of football.london in fact – labelled ‘Get the biggest daily stories by email’ and click ‘Subscribe’.
And that’s it, you’re all set.
If you decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails, simply follow the unsubscribe link in one of the newsletters – but we don’t think you’ll want to.
For more details, click here.
Despite his ability to play in defence, Rice’s potential arrival would pose questions over the future some current midfielders at Stamford Bridge.
Jorginho and N’Golo Kante have both been linked with moves to Italy in recent months, although Maurizio Sarri’s sacking at Juventus has ended any interest the Old Lady had in Jorginho.
It seems unlikely that £50m will be enough to land Rice, however, with West Ham reportedly valuing the 21-year-old at around £70m.
After his release from Chelsea, Rice was snapped up by West Ham and signed his first professional contract in 2015.