Chelsea are planning to make a fresh bid to sign Declan Rice during the January transfer window as Frank Lampard has refused to give up on signing the West Ham ace, according to reports.
Rice is believed to be one of Lampard’s only remaining targets after the club’s summer spending spree.
The Blues forked out £250million on new players this summer, bringing in the likes of Kai Havertz, Edouard Mendy, Ben Chilwell and Timo Werner.
West Ham star Rice was reportedly one of the Chelsea boss’ top targets in the window, but the Hammers refused to budge on their £73m valuation.
And after such a significant outlay elsewhere, that was deemed to be a price too steep for the Blues to pay.
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However, Lampard is still eager to sign the 21-year-old, and wants to make a move in January.
The Athletic claims Chelsea were ready to sell two players in order to fund a bid for Rice back in the summer transfer window, but both moves fell through.
They are still likely to offload unwanted players in January if they are to make a second run at trying to sign the England international.
West Ham are eager to keep him and have entered into talks over a new contract.
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While they aren’t offering to extend his current deal – which runs until 2024 with a club option for a further year – they are willing to give him a financial incentive to stay.
They are reportedly ready to give him a new contract with a significantly higher wage in order to convince him into turning down Chelsea.
But the Blues are hoping he will snub a new contract and look to leave in the January window instead after making a promising start to the season.
The same report from The Athletic claims West Ham are worried that worried that Chelsea will come back in with a new bid for their star asset.
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Rice usually plays in the middle of midfield, and Lampard apparently sees that as his best role if he moves to Stamford Bridge.
Lampard reportedly wants N’Golo Kante to move from being a defensive midfielder to a more creative player in midfield, with Rice slotting into his old position.
Rice would also provide Lampard with another centre-back option as he can also play as a central defender.
Thiago Silva is under contract until next summer, but could well stay beyond that as the club holds an option in his contract to extend his deal for a further year.
Should Chelsea be successful in signing Rice during the January transfer window, they could include him in their squad list for the knockout phase of the Champions League – provided they get that far.
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