Chelsea have been linked with a move for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.

The England international could be the perfect addition to Frank Lampard’s squad, adding defensive capabilities in the middle of the park whilst also being able to fill in at centre-back.

Rice has proved himself to be at home in both positions at West Ham and is now on Lampard’s radar as he eyes a versatile option who can contribute in various formations.

But West Ham are adamant they do not want to sell – and Rice could end up costing the Blues a hefty fee approaching £60million.

With the prospect of spending on other areas, Chelsea might already have their solution to Lampard’s problem close to home in the form of Ethan Ampadu.

West Ham’s Declan Rice is attracting strong interest from Chelsea
(Image: GETTY)

Like Rice, Ampadu is capable of playing either at centre-back or central midfield, demonstrating similar skills in terms of reading the game, tackling and recycling possession.

Ampadu, still only 19, has gained priceless experience this season on loan at RB Leipzig and showed his ability against Premier League opposition as they beat Tottenham in the Champions League.

The Wales international was highly-rated at Chelsea before his loan spell and Lampard could be the perfect man to unlock his potential and oversee his first-team breakthrough at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea may already have a perfect alternative in the form of Ethan Ampadu

If he can do that, then he could save millions on Declan Rice and find the perfect answer who cost just a small fee when he joined from Exeter City in 2017 for a compensation fee decided by a tribunal.

Lampard is a known admirer of Ampadu, trying to sign him on loan when he was at Derby in 2019.

He said: ”He can play in a few positions, that’s why he would be so valuable to anybody and why he’s staying at Chelsea.”

Speaking when Ampadu departed for Germany, Lampard stated” “I tried to sign Ethan on loan at Derby last year, so I’m a big fan, but with the minutes he played last year, I have to think of the bigger picture and the interests of Ethan and of Chelsea.

Lampard tried to sign Ampadu at Derby and is a known admirer of the youngster


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“The idea that he could play a lot of games somewhere is good for him and we haven’t brought him here while that is up in the air.”

Speaking in February about his goals for the future, Ampadu declared: ”I would like to go back [to play for Chelsea], I aim to, but I am focused on Leipzig.

”I am always watching Chelsea and seeing what is going on.

”It is good to see the young players are shining at the moment. They are in the top four so fingers crossed they can hold on to that.”

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/chelsea-already-signed-declan-rice-22436345