Frank Lampard has key Declan Rice plan with Chelsea ‘confident’ of securing £45m deal

Chelsea want to make West Ham star Declan Rice a key part of their defence.

The England international has played most of his professional football in midfield having come through the ranks at the London Stadium, but has previously stated his desire to play as a central defender.

Frank Lampard has enjoyed a successful debut season as a manager in west London and looks set to secure Champions League qualification, and the addition of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner have left fans feeling excited.

That being said, the Blues will need to strengthen their defence should they hope to close the gap on Manchester City and Liverpool next season, which could influence a move for Rice.

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The Sun have reported that Lampard sees the former Chelsea trainee playing in the middle of a new-look three man defence, and is willing to part with £45m to get the deal over the line.

The Hammers are at risk of relegation and only sit outside of the relegation zone on goal difference with seven games to play – and the future of Rice could depend on their survival.

Moyes said in February: “In my mind he is arguably the best holding midfield player in the country and the best thing about Declan is he will get better.

“Declan is carrying a lot of the team at the moment and he’s the one who will carry on from Mark Noble when it comes to an end for him.

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“Quite often when building a club you have to sell. I hope it’s not the case with Declan but I said the same with Wayne Rooney and Joleon Lescott [at Everton].

“But the team got better because we were able to sign the right players to replace them. If that ever came around [Rice leaving] I’d hope we’d be able to do the…