Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has fuelled speculation linking the club with Declan Rice by ‘liking’ a post on Instagram of the player meeting the Blues legend John Terry.
Former Chelsea academy star Rice has emerged as the London club’s top target to strengthen their back-line, with Lampard aiming to convert him back into a centre-back.
The 21-year-old, who was named West Ham player of the Year for his displays this campaign, is thought to be keen to return to Chelsea and his holiday activities have stoked the rumour mill this past week.
Rice has spent his holiday with best friend and Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount, first meeting Didier Drogba and then visiting the club’s greatest ever captain, John Terry, at his place in Portugal.
John Terry shared a picture of their meeting on Instagram, writing: ‘What a centre-back partnership this would have been Declan Rice. I’m playing LCB though!
‘Good catch up mate. Unbelievable player who will continue to get better and better.’
And a few hours later, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard reacted to the post, ‘liking’ it on Instagram which got many fans excited.
Frank Lampard sees the youngsters as a centre-back leader to bolster his poor defence rather than the midfield protector he has been for London side West Ham.
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In the comments, Petra Ecclestone’s fiancé Sam Palmer, a West Ham supporter, told Terry to ‘stop tapping up Declan Rice – I’ll be coming for you all if you succeed’ and the blues legend replied with laughing emojis.
But, Chelsea will need to spend big if they want to sign Rice this summer window, with West Ham believed to value the player at £80m – a fee they might struggle to afford on top of a £75m deal for Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz.
It remains to be seen if Declan Rice will leave West ham for a move to Stamford Bridge this campaign.