Chelsea’s Declan Rice pursuit set to rely on Frank Lampard avoiding sack
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Chelsea’s interest in West Ham star Declan Rice is likely to end if Frank Lampard loses his job at Stamford Bridge, according to reports.
Lampard is said to have identified Rice as a top target in the previous transfer window, only for West Ham’s £80million asking price to prove too steep amid their £220million spending spree.
It is believed Chelsea could come back in for the England midfielder this month, especially given their woeful run of form in the Premier League over the past month.
Four defeats in six games have left the Blues languishing down in ninth place, and Lampard facing the sack.
Reports suggest Chelsea officials are already drawing up contingency plans should they decide to part company with their all-time leading goalscorer in the near future.
And according to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Rice’s potential switch across London is dependent on Lampard keeping his job.
The latter is understood to be the driving force behind Chelsea’s interest in the Hammers ace, with several club bigwigs maintaining reservations over their former academy star.
Rice joined West Ham as a 14-year-old after being released by the Blues, and seven years on he finds himself vice-captain of the east London outfit.
Nevertheless, certain Stamford Bridge chiefs are still not convinced by the 21-year-old and would likely end their pursuit in the event of Lampard’s departure.
The hefty transfer fee West Ham are demanding is another concern for Chelsea, especially after producing a record-breaking outlay in the previous window.
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Rice is still said to be the Blues’ primary transfer target this month despite question marks over Lampard’s future in SW6.
The Kingston-born star has racked up 128 appearances for West Ham since being handed his debut in 2017, scoring three goals and earning 13 England caps in the process.
- Frank Lampard
- Chelsea FC
- West Ham FC
- Transfer news
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