Chelsea target West Ham star as possible reinforcement at centre-back

Chelsea may have located their man at West Ham.

Chelsea has been constantly linked with top-notch attackers, however, Frank Lampard has now shown interest in West Ham midfielder Declan Rice as a potential defender for his side.

Although the Blues have enjoyed a relatively impressive season where they’re in the hunt for a top-four finish, it’s no secret they lack consistency at the back. They’ve conceded far too many goals this term, including a 3-2 defeat against West Ham just a week ago, a team that is on the verge of relegation.

Before Antonio Rudiger came back from injury, the Blues looked helpless in their own end at times. Kurt Zouma proved to be a liability defensively, while the likes of Andreas Christensen struggled to be consistent as well.

With the Blues recently voicing their willingness to offload six players this summer in order to sign Leverkusen standout Kai Havertz, their attack is set to be absolutely electric next season. Even if they aren’t able to lure the German away from his current side, the additions of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech will be more than enough.

However, not many defenders have been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge. Former Chelsea man Nathan Ake, who is now with Bournemouth, has been one of the main players rumored to make the move back to London. But, that was more evident back in January, with Ake currently happy with the Cherries.

According to the Times, Lampard has identified West Ham defensive midfielder Declan Rice as a target for his side. But interestingly enough, as a centre-back. Rice spent his youth in the Blues academy, eventually being cut as a schoolboy. He’s currently valued at around 70 million, but Chelsea is willing to do a swap deal where they send Fikayo Tomori to the Hammers, which could lower the asking price for Rice.

If the Blues are able to add Rice to their backline, it would be a phenomenal signing. Although he hasn’t spent a lot of time playing at this position, he carries the necessary traits to excel as a defender. Rice has wonderful physical presence, he’s good in the air, and he’s a top-notch tackler who isn’t afraid to put his body on the line.

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The opportunity to come back to a club that cut him as a youngster will be a hard one to pass up for Rice. He’s a mainstay in England’s midfield and frankly, he deserves better than West Ham. The 21-year old could shine with Chelsea, giving them a youthful defender who will bring a ton of energy and desire to the pitch.