Lampard’s hopes fade as Chelsea ‘reservations’ persist over £73m man

Joe Williams

The Chelsea board are unconvinced that West Ham’s Declan Rice is worth his €80m (£73m) asking price, according to reports.

After a season of standing still in the transfer market, Chelsea have made a big splash this summer with several high-profile recruits and a spend of £200m.

Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Thiago Silva, Malang Sarr, Ben Chilwell and Hakin Ziyech have all arrived to boost Frank Lampard’s squad.

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The former Derby boss though is still looking at adding to his side and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is reportedly close to sealing a deal.

Lampard is also interested in West Ham midfielder Rice, according to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, despite denying interest in the England man in June.

“Declan Rice is a good player, you’re right, and I’ve known Declan Rice for a long time, as he was in the Chelsea academy, but there’s no talk,” said Lampard.

However, Lampard is struggling to convince the board at Stamford Bridge, according to The Athletic.

Ornstein said: “Frank Lampard is really keen on Declan Rice and would like to convert him into a top class centre-back. There are some reservations about Declan Rice from some at Stamford Bridge over the price it would take to get West Ham to sell.

“It was originally €50m to €60m, but now people are saying €80m for a player who was released by Chelsea as a 14-year-old. Some at the club are not convinced he has not addressed the perceived technical deficiencies that encouraged them to let him go.

“So I would say that Rice to Chelsea is very improbable.”