Chelsea could look elsewhere to solve their defensive issues, as signing Declan Rice could lead to ’embarrassment’ for some staff members.
The West Ham star played in midfield during their 3-2 victory over Chelsea on Wednesday, but is also comfortable in the centre of defence.
The 21-year-old spent eight years as a youth player at Stamford Bridge alongside the likes of Mason Mount, but was released in 2014.
Despite those links back to Chelsea, The Athletic have reported that the club could approach other targets to avoid embarrassing the staff that let Rice leave six-years ago.
The insider is quoted as saying: “West Ham will demand a lot of money for him and this is a player the club had on their books and allowed to leave for free. Paying a vast sum could embarrass a few people.”
The potential for embarrassment hasn’t stopped Chelsea re-signing players in the past, with both Nemanja Matic and David Luiz rejoining the club after spells away.
Lampard said of Rice earlier this week: “Declan Rice is a good player, I’ve known him for a long time, he was in Chelsea’s academy, but there’s no talk.
“I will keep saying that about every player until these games and this season are finished. There’s nothing to say.”