Chelsea to make move for top transfer target in January after Frank Lampard disappointment

Chelsea will look to resurrect their interest in West Ham star Declan Rice in the January window, according to transfer expert Ian McGarry. Chelsea spent over £220million on new signings in the summer window, bringing in seven new players. However, head coach Lampard was still keen to bring in England international Rice.

Reports claimed West Ham were wanting up to £80m for academy graduate Rice.

McGarry says the east London club would have been prepared to accept £60m but Chelsea deemed that too expensive following their summer expenditure.

He claims the failure to sign Rice was the only disappointment for Lampard in the summer window.

But Chelsea will go back in for the 21-year-old in January, or at the end of the season.

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“They had only one disappointment for Frank Lampard and that was that they did not manage to get Declan Rice from West Ham,” McGarry said on the Transfer Window podcast.

“It is our information that West Ham’s fee for Rice was in excess of £60m, which in the end proved just too much for Chelsea right now, who have decided to postpone the pursuit of Rice, although they remain interested in the player very much.

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“They will probably go with Kurt Zouma and Thiago Silva in central defender, whereas Frank Lampard’s plan was to play Declan Rice in the middle of a back three initially.

“However, that interest could be resurrected in January and if not, in next summer’s window where of course Rice will be a further year out of contract and West Ham may be more inclined to sell.”

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Rice has a contract at West Ham until 2024 and has been instrumental in their recent wins over Wolves and Leicester.

The defensive midfielder spent time at the Chelsea academy before being released aged 14.

Meanwhile, Lampard continues to trim his squad following the influx of incomings.

Malang Sarr completed a season-long loan to Porto on Tuesday following his free transfer arrival this summer.

Sarr’s departure follows the loans of Ruben Loftus-Cheek to Fulham and Ross Barkley to Aston Villa.

However, centre-backs Antonio Rudiger and Fikayo Tomori have stayed at Stamford Bridge despite being made available for moves.

Reports claim Tomori rejected a late move to West Ham on deadline day.

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