Chelsea continue to be linked with  West Ham United’s Declan Rice but there are more affordable options for his position.

After securing a top-four finish in the Premier League last season, Chelsea’s hierarchy have made the decision to try and go one better ahead in 2020/21. New signings were expected, but not on this scale.

The Blues have drafted in six new faces during the window, spending more than £200million in the process. Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Malang Sarr, Thiago Silva and Kai Havertz bring significant quality to the squad.

Chelsea aren’t done just yet, with Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy a major target. The club also continue to be linked with West Ham United’s holding midfielder, Declan Rice.

However, the Hammers’ £80m asking price is off-putting. If Chelsea want to strengthen in that area of the pitch, they should consider these more affordable alternatives.

WILFRED NDIDI

Not many holding midfielders in the Premier League have performed as consistently as Wilfred Ndidi in recent seasons.

He has established himself as a key figure in Brendan Rodgers’ side, becoming integral to the way that the Foxes play. His tall physical stature makes it hard for opponents to find a way past him.

According to Transfermarkt, Ndidi is valued at £40.5million, which is considerably less than West Ham want for Rice.

Even if Leicester hold out for more than that, he surely won’t be as expensive as West Ham’s star man.

MARCELO BROZOVIC

Chelsea have now brought in more experience this summer, with Thiago Silva a prime example. If they are keen to add more knowhow to the squad, Marcelo Brozovic would be a good option.

Brozovic is one of the most experienced defensive midfielders around, with the Croatian having played in Serie A for several years. He also played an integral role in Croatia’s run to the final of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The 27-year-old would most probably not break the bank either, certainly in respect to what Chelsea have spent so far this summer.

Transfermarkt claim he’s currently worth £45m, which is considerably lower than Rice’s valuation held by the Hammers.

SERGEJ MILINKOVIC-SAVIC

Another option that could be seen as an avenue worth exploring in Italy is Lazio ace Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

The Serbian international has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League over the last few years, with his performances in Serie A continuing to get noticed week after week.

Though the Lazio midfielder is not solely a midfield holder, he can play in that deep role, where his physical and powerful presence offers protection to the back four.

Though the 25-year-old would not be a cheap addition, with the Transfermarkt him at just short of £60million, he remains more affordable than Rice.

Milinkovic-Savic would also add experience to Chelsea’s midfield, with over 160 career appearances in Serie A.

He also has experience on the European stage, which is another reason why Chelsea would assess his talents.