Having already snapped up Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech to bolster his attack next season, Coach Frank Lampard has now turned his attention to improving the defence with Rice, 21, his favoured target.
With West Ham asking for upwards of £70million for Rice, Tomori may even be sent to the London Stadium temporarily in any deal for the Blues’ former youth team player, who was released at 14 before joining the Hammers.
After playing 14 games under Lampard in the first half of the season and making his England debut against Kosovo in November, defender Tomori has made just three appearances in 2020.
His last start saw him substituted after a disappointing display in a 2-2 draw with Bournemouth, while a hamstring injury has also curtailed his progress.
Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma and Antonio Rudiger have all been preferred to the England international in recent weeks.
With the club still fighting for a Champions League place and in the latter stages of the FA Cup, Tomori faces a battle to feature in the maximum seven remaining games of the club’s season.
While his immediate first team prospects are slim, the club is refusing to consider a permanent departure and is more receptive to the prospect of a loan to gain more first-team experience.
Tomori was on the brink of joining Everton on loan last summer before being retained when the club sold David Luiz to Arsenal instead.
On Tomori, Lampard has previously said: ‘I have four centre-backs to choose from, so most weeks, two of them are unhappy. And, then people question you when you stick with a back two or back three. There is competition in that area”.
‘With Fiks, he always has to train at the top level. That goes for all of the young players. When you are out of the team, however much it hurts, you need to show a good attitude and train very well”.
‘At the moment, he is showing those things and he has a long career ahead of him at this club, without a doubt. It’s been more about selection issues”.