Chelsea in pole position to sign 21-year-old England international

Aaron Cresswell has admitted Declan Rice would reach ‘another level’ if he were to ever leave West Ham United amid speculation linking him with a move to the Stamford Bridge.

England international has emerged as one of the PL’s top young talents, and although starting out for West Ham United as a centre-back, Declan has mastered the defensive midfield position over the past two campaigns.

Chelsea boss has identified Rice as his next major signing, however, Lampard plans on converting him back to a centre-back. Although Declan’s Hammers team-mate Cresswell wants him to remain at the London Stadium, he can see the midfielder progressing to the next level if he makes the step up to a bigger club.

‘He’s close to 100 Premier League games already, and I’m not just saying that because he’s a West Ham player and a good mate of mine, but I really do believe he’s one of the top talents in the country,’ Cresswell said. ‘I wouldn’t like to see him leave, but if he were to ever leave he would become another level with better players around him.’

‘He’s come in at centre-back over the last couple of games due to injuries we’ve had and he can play either. ‘It’s a great option he’s got but in terms of ability-wise, he’s a fantastic player.’

Blues have already sealed the signings of Hakim Ziyech from Ajax and Timo Werner from RB Leipzig. Chelsea boss is also reportedly keen on Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell to strengthen his side in the left-back position, however, the Foxes are demanding up to £75m for the English defender.

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