Frank Lampard has identified Declan Rice as his next big signing and reportedly wants to play the midfielder as a centre-half.
Chelsea have already generated plenty of headlines in the transfer market having sealed the signings of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner.
But the Sun claim the spending spree will continue and Lampard has asked the club to sign West Ham’s talisman Rice.
The England international plays as a defensive midfielder and is regarded as one of the finest young talents in the position in the Premier League, but Lampard wants to convert him into a centre-back.
Rice has played in defence before in his career, before moving into midfield when he broke into West Ham’s senior squad.
David Moyes recently deployed Rice at centre-back and the player himself is believed to be prepared to change his position.
The 21-year-old began his youth career at Chelsea, but was released at the age of 14. Lampard is eager to bring him back to his boyhood club.
Chelsea have sounded out West Ham about a potential deal and are confident they could snap Rice up for around £45million.
Lampard wants Rice to sit in the middle of a back three, take on a significant leadership role and be the basis for Chelsea’s title challenge next season.
Liverpool have clinched the league with seven games to play and Chelsea are a massive 32 points behind the champions in the table.
Chelsea are, however, on track to seal qualification for next season’s Champions League despite having just served a two-window transfer ban.
West Ham play Chelsea in their next league outing on Wednesday, a game Rice is sure to play in.
Chelsea’s efforts to land Rice will be boosted by the fact Manchester United recently shelved their interest in the Hammers star to focus on other targets.
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