Frank Lampard has revealed Chelsea have no regrets over allowing Declan Rice to leave amid ongoing speculation they could look to sign him back from West Ham in the January window.
According to reports, the blues would consider a mid-season transfer move for Rice if the Hammers softened their stance over the £80m price tag which proved to be a stumbling block earlier in the summer.
Rice left Chelsea’s academy at the age of 14 after seven years in the youth ranks but has since become one of the League’s hottest prospects, making his England debut last year and becoming a regular in Gareth Southgate’s side this season.
But ahead of West Ham’s visit to Stamford Bridge, Lampard said: “He’s a fantastic player for West Ham and England, so fair play because his journey there after leaving Chelsea and going to West Ham is a good story to hear.
“There are lots of those stories for different reasons at whatever level and that shows a strength of character. In terms of from our end, I certainly wouldn’t use the word ‘regret.’ Our academy is one of the best in the world.
“You look at our first team now, the players we have produced here that are in and around the first-team squad, we’ve got so many. And it is not easy. It is not an exact science to pick and choose whatever players.
“The academy work brilliantly here and bring through a lot of players. Declan Rice, let’s give him personal credit for going and having a great start to his career that he’s had at West Ham.”
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However, Lampard refused to be drawn on Chelsea’s spending plans after their £220m spending spree in the summer.
“I don’t know about January, I’ll consider January when it’s here,” he added.
However, he did voice his disappointment at the Premier League shareholders voting against the introduction of five substitutes.