Despite all the nay-saying from the other side of London that simply won't go anywhere, it is a transfer rumor that Declan Rice is returning to Chelsea.
Apart from the possible departure of Fikayo Tomori and maybe another outgoing or two, a lot of the attention is again on Rice in the absence of anything else going on transfer wise for the Blues.
For almost 18 months now, after Rice broke through into the first team of the Hammers and has already racked up more than 100 Premier League appearances, the Blues have been synonymous with a big money swoop for the West Ham midfielder.
It's not exactly a secret that Chelsea let Rice go as a 14-year-old, where West Ham scooped him up and maybe went on to make Chelsea reconsider their decision to release the midfielder, who started out as a center back in Cobham's setup.
"Not necessarily that Frank Lampard agrees, saying last month: "'He's a fine player for West Ham and England.'
That did not stop the gossip mill from continuing to associate Rice with a return to West London. The most recent twist in the story is that those close to Rice have supposedly said that he would prefer to remain in London and that a move to Manchester United has been ruled out.
Last summer, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side were briefly linked to Rice, but that died down a bit as Chelsea obviously took the lead in the race to sign him.
Not that West Ham matters. Football. London acknowledges that, especially in January, the club simply has no intention of selling its prized asset, as David Moyes looks to build on a good start to the season.
Moyes has already said that it will take the club's "Bank of England money" to consider selling Rice in the first place and that is why the Hammers have slapped the 21-year-head old's with a £ 70m-£ 80m price tag.
The price tag has caused a lot of controversy, but it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone for a fully formed, young, England international and Premier League regular.
West Ham doesn't want to sell, particularly in January, because they have been plunged at the wrong end of the table for the overwhelming majority of the time since they moved from Upton Park to London Stadium in 2017 in the middle of a reasonably decent season in 2020