According to reports from The Times, Chelsea have stepped up their interest in signing Declan Rice from West Ham this summer.
The 21-year-old is arguably one of the finest young talents in the country, and the Blues are looking to sign him ahead of other potential suitors.
Chelsea are already active in the summer market having signed Hakim Ziyech from Ajax for £33 million and RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner for £45m.
However, the Blues are looking to bolster their defence, and Frank Lampard has earmarked Rice as an ideal candidate for that role.
Rice has always played as a defensive midfielder for the Hammers, but Lampard feels the 21-year-old could solve their defensive frailties.
The report claims that Rice is a boyhood Chelsea fan. He spent seven years in the club’s academy before being released at the age of 14. According to transfermarkt, Rice would cost in the region of £44m.
The youngster is predominantly a midfielder but has impressed when used by West Ham as a defender. Lampard wants him as a central defender and feels Rice could be a successor to John Terry.
Rice has a contract at West Ham till 2024, and the Hammers have no intention to sell him.
The Chelsea boss is also looking to bring in Leicester City left-back Ben Chilwell.