Chelsea held talks with €50m-rated Premier League midfielder

West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice seems increasingly unlikely to move to Chelsea this summer with Frank Lampard’s appreciation of the footballer not shared by everyone at the London club.

Blues have already had a very active summer, signing the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Ben Chilwell, while they are also close to sealing a deal for Rennes shot-stopper Edouard Mendy. However, Frank Lampard still wants to bring in one last footballer before the transfer window shuts and has identified Declan as the final piece of his puzzle.

Frank Lampard believes England international can be reverted back into a centre-back and marshal a Chelsea back-line that conceded 54 times last campaign, as many as 15th placed Brighton.

However, not everyone shares Frank’s view and there are huge reservations over the deal from several people in Blues hierarchy. The biggest issue is the price Hammers will demand, which will be in excess of £70m, a fee Chelsea are unlikely to be able to match without including footballers in a swap.

There is also a reluctance to spend so much money on a player who was on Blues books until the age of 14 when he was released from the academy and joined the Hammers for nothing.

Interestingly, some at the London club are not convinced he has actually addressed the ‘technical deficiencies’ that prompted that decision to let him go and are not in favour of the signing as a result.

While the London giants may be split over whether the English midfielder is the solution to their defensive woes, Frank Lampard is in no doubt over his quality and believes he can become a world-class centre-back as well as offering cover in the defensive midfielder role.