West Ham legend Tony Carr has advised Chelsea transfer target Declan Rice to snub an approach from Frank Lampard to try and build a legacy at the London Stadium and follow in the footsteps of Mark Noble.
Chelsea want their former academy youngster to return to Stamford Bridge to help bolster their defence.
Rice has predominantly been used as a holding midfielder by West Ham but he was utilised as a centre-back in his younger years.
Lampard has major issues at the back as his side have conceded more goals than any club in the top 10 of the Premier League.
The Blues have money to spend in the summer and Rice has been highlighted as an attainable star.
However, Carr does not think the 21-year-old has any reason to swap east London for the west.
“I’m a little bit concerned. I hope he stays, I really do,” Carr told the We Are West Ham Podcast.
“He’s developing into a top player. His goal the other night against Watford – terrific.
“You could see the look on his face, the pleasure it gave him. And the hug he gave to David Moyes on the touchline when the goal went in sends great signs and signals he’s happy there and wants to stay.
“Unfortunately, sometimes agents get involved – I’m not saying this is Declan’s agent – but if someone says ‘we’re going to double your money if you come to us’, it’s hard to turn down and let loyalty be the deciding factor.
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“I hope it doesn’t come to that. I hope he just comes out and says ‘I’m happy to stay at West Ham, I’m still developing as a player, they’ve brought me from obscurity, released from Chelsea, and now into the England team’.”
Carr also sent a personal message to the England international pleading with him to stay.
He added: “My message to Dec is this: ‘Stay where you are pal. You’re young enough and there’s still plenty of time to go to the big guns. Just keep establishing yourself by being a regular in the team.
“You’re in the England team because you’re in West Ham’s first team, you don’t need to go anywhere else’.
“He’s now an integral part of that West Ham team and in some respects, he’s taking up Mark Noble’s mantle.
“If he stays, over time he’s going to be a future captain I’m sure.”
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