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Chelsea are desperate to sign 21-year-old Premier League midfielder

Blues stay interested in signing £70m transfer target Declan Rice from Hammers and believe he could emerge as a crucial figure for Chelsea under Frank. Chelsea have been strongly linked with a move for England international over the past 12 months and are plotting a bid for the midfielder ahead of the summer transfer window.

Blues have already spent £80m of their transfer budget on Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner, who joined from Ajax and RB Leipzig respectively, but the English manager stays key on bolstering his squad in other areas.

Lampard wants to sign a left-back Leicester City and England defender Ben Chilwell is the club’s first-choice target and has expressed interest in bringing Kai Havertz to London club. Declan is also attracting substantial interest from the Blues and the London club are keen to secure his signature for two crucial reasons.

Firstly, Rice is viewed as a perfect target to strengthen the English manager’s options at centre-back, where he has played for most of his life despite spells in Hammers midfield.

Declan was primarily a defender while he was at Blues academy and it is claimed the London club believe he can be a ‘commanding’ centre-back under Frank Lampard whose communication skills and ability on the ball have been highlighted by many coaches.

Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen both came in for stinging criticism after Blues disappointing defeat to Hammers earlier this week and Frank is said to have reservations about the duo. Secondly, Declan fits the profile of footballers Blues want to welcome to the club, with Frank looking to mould a young squad that can grow together over the next few years.

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