Chelsea could target January exodus to gain near-£70m budget for Declan Rice

Don’t wait 30 years – sign up for our daily football email newsletter today!

Chelsea could edge closer to a £70m bid for Declan Rice by securing five January sales.

Frank Lampard is a fan of the England international who has shown off his versatility under David Moyes at West Ham – having also become a regular starter under Gareth Southgate.

The 21-year-old can play in either central midfield or the middle of defence, which is likely to be attractive to Lampard as his side begin to show promising signs of consistency.

Although Thiago Silva has proved to be a fine addition at Stamford Bridge, his advanced age means Blues chiefs will already be looking at a potential long-term replacement.

One way Chelsea could fund a pursuit for the youngster would be to push their fringe stars out of the club in January, which could pave the way for a bumper summer offer.

Those names include Tiemoue Bakayoko, Olivier Giroud, Emerson Palmieri, Danny Drinkwater and Antonio Rudiger, who according to Transfermrkt are worth £67m combined.

Moyes told talkSPORT of his player before a clash against Tottenham back in June: “I think Declan could arguably be my best centre-half and my best midfield player.”

Before adding: “We know he will give us something else as a midfield player but he showed he was defensively sound when he goes into the back line as well.”

Although Rudiger was tipped to be a regular when fit under Lampard, the former England midfielder has settled on a pairing of Silva and Kurt Zouma with Ben Chilwell and Reece James at full-back.

Bakayoko is currently on this third loan away from the club, this time with Napoli, while Drinkwater was not allocated a squad number at the start of the 2020/21 Premier League season.

Emerson has been linked with a move to Italy as has Olivier Giroud with either Inter or Juventus.

Lampard said of the veteran striker in September: “With Oli, and I keep talking about squad members, when he’s not playing I keep hearing him behind me on the bench shouting for Tammy, encouraging, backing his team-mate, and those things are huge.”

The former Derby boss has been coy over links to Rice in the past, stating during the summer when asked about the West Ham star: “Again they are rumours, I can’t talk about these things.

“When players are ours it’s not my position to speculate on what may be, and it’s the same on the other side from players from other clubs. And I’ll continue that way.”

  • Chelsea FC
  • Premier League
  • Transfer news
  • Frank Lampard
  • West Ham FC
  • Gareth Southgate

Source: Read Full Article