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Chelsea’s big advantage over Manchester United in £80m Declan Rice transfer

Frank Lampard has remodelled Chelsea around a clutch of exciting young English talents this season and according to reports, there could be further youthful, homegrown additions to the squad over the summer.

The Blues have long been linked with a move for Leicester City’s left back Ben Chilwell, are believed to be in the running to bring Jadon Sancho back to England from Borussia Dortmund and are said to be interested in West Ham’s Declan Rice.

Sky Sports reported last month that Lampard is keen to add a defensive midfielder to his ranks for 2020/21 and Rice is top of his shortlist following a couple of exceptional seasons in a struggling West Ham side.

Rice had been strongly linked to Manchester United last summer as part of their own homegrown recruitment drive, but Chelsea are now the leading candidates for his signature with Bonus Code Bets offering odds of 5/6 for him to move across London.

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Chelsea’s interest in Rice is unsurprising considering the club’s defensive issues this season. Despite being fourth in the Premier League table, the Blues have conceded 39 goals in 29 games and part of the reason for that has been a lack of protection for the defence from midfield.

N’Golo Kante has struggled with injury problems which have restricted him to just 16 league starts, while the likes of Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic are regarded more as deep-lying playmakers than typical defensive midfielders.

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Rice, on the other hand, is very much a classic anchorman. The 21-year-old ranks fourth in the Premier League – and second among midfielders – for total tackles (87) this season, while he is also joint-second overall for interceptions made (61).

Not only would Rice’s qualities be welcomed in a Chelsea side that has been vulnerable at the back he also knows the club well having been…

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