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Chelsea ‘must sell defenders’ before Declan Rice transfer raid can commence

Chelsea must trim their current defensive options before adding more into the squad.

That is the message from the top brass at Stamford Bridge, who have made the demand to Frank Lampard.

The Blues may have finished in the top four but their defence is horrendously leaky – conceding 54 times in the Premier League alone.

That is the most in the top 10 – and that blame should be shared between defenders, goalkeepers and coaches.

And Lampard is keen on completely revamping his backline in the transfer market.

A new goalkeeper, a left-back and a centre-back are all on his shopping list.

Kepa Arrizabalaga has been heavily criticised this season

But to complete the latter, the Blues must axe some current options.

Chelsea have four central defenders, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori.

However, none have exactly impressed over the campaign, showing a high level of inconsistency throughout.

And according to the Telegraph, Lampard has been told to axe some current option before bringing more in.

The top target is Declan Rice, who helped West Ham survive relegation this season – though they will not let him go cheap.

Declan Rice is Chelsea’s top target at the back
(Image: ADAM DAVY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The England international has a reported asking price of £65m and Lamps must stump the cash but selling his current options.

Christensen and Zouma are the most under threat, with Rudiger the most senior defender and Tomori likely to earn a loan move away.

As well as a centre-back, a left-back is heavily wanted at Stamford Bridge as well with Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri linked with moves away.

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Ben Chilwell of Leicester is Lampard’s preferred…

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