Frank Lampard’s persistent requests to sign West Ham midfielder Declan Rice were one of the reasons he lost his job at Chelsea, according to reports.
Lampard has been sacked by Chelsea and is expected to be replaced by former Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel.
Chelsea’s record goalscorer signed a three-year deal in the summer of 2019 and in spite of a transfer ban, led them to the FA Cup final and a fourth-place finish in his first managerial campaign at Stamford Bridge.
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With cash to spend ahead of this season, the arrivals of Ben Chilwell, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner have failed to translate into improved results and they are ninth in the Premier League at the halfway point.
The Blues have lost six times already in the division, with five of them during their last eight matches, and are 11 points off current leaders Manchester United.
One player Chelsea were heavily linked with during Lampard’s tenure was West Ham midfielder Rice, who Lampard was known to be a huge fan of.
And The Athletic claims that that Lampard wanted to sign Rice in the summer and ‘pushed for him again ahead of January’.
This apparently ‘annoyed’ the Chelsea board with the club having ‘reservations about re-signing the player who was released from the academy as a teenager.
The Athletic say they were told by a source in December: “He needs to stop pushing for Rice or he’ll lose his job. The hierarchy are very wary about the potential embarrassment of buying back an academy reject at huge expense.”
Another reason for his departure was his deteriorating ‘relationship with influential director Marina Granovskaia’.