West Ham star Declan Rice looks unlikely to join Chelsea this summer with Frank Lampard’s appreciation of the England player not shared by everyone at the club.
Chelsea have already had a busy summer, signing players like Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Ben Chilwell, while they are also close to completing a deal for Rennes keeper Edouard Mendy.
However, the Chelsea boss still wants to make one more signing before the transfer window shuts and has identified Declan Rice as the final piece of his puzzle at the club.
Lampard believes Rice can be reverted back into a central defender and marshal the club’s back-line that conceded 54 times last campaign – as many as 15th placed Brighton in the Premier League.
However, according to The Athletic, not everyone shares Lampard’s view and there are significant reservations over a possible deal from a couple of people in Chelsea’s hierarchy.
The major issue is the price West Ham will demand, which will be more than £70million – a fee the Lomdon club are unlikely to be able to match without including any player in a swap.
There is also a reluctance from the club to spend so much money on a player who was at Chelsea until the age of 14, when he was released from the academy and moved to West Ham for free.
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And, some at the club are not convinced he has overcome the ‘technical deficiencies’ that prompted the decision to let him go for free and are not in favour of his signature.
While Chelsea may be split over whether Rice is the solution to their defensive issues, but Lampard has no doubt over his quality and believes he can become a world-class defender as well as providing cover in the defensive midfielder role.
Having spent so little this summer, though, and enraging even their own players with the sale of Grady Diangana,
Meanwhile, West Ham’s board are extremely unlikely to allow the player leave, the England international was named Hammer of the Year last campaign.