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Chelsea’s £40m Declan Rice alternative ‘believes he’s on his way to Stamford Bridge’

Chelsea are reportedly close to sealing the £40million transfer of Brighton defender Lewis Dunk.

The 28-year-old has emerged into one of the most consistent centre-backs in the Premier League over recent seasons, helping the Seagulls retain their top flight status.

Spending over a decade at Brighton, Dunk has played 306 times for the south coast club in three different divisions and would provide some much-needed experience for the Blues.

Frank Lampard is keen to bolster his defence after watching his team ship goals for fun last season, depsite them clinching a top four spot.

And Dunk, who has one cap for England, could be just what is needed at Stamford Bridge for the new campaign.

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Chelsea have already sealed moves for attacker Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech and are keen to sign midfielder Kai Havertz, but defenders are also needed.

And, according to The Sun , Dunk is now one of Lampard’s top targets, with Chelsea closing in on a £40m deal.

Dunk is a lifelong Chelsea fan and is said to be expecting the move to happen in the coming days.

The defender’s idol growing up was club legend John Terry and he even made his pet dog Didier, after former striker Didier Drogba.

The report claims that he will join Chelsea if they are able to match Dunk’s valuation, with Ben White then being tipped to step into his shoes.

White has returned to the Amex after a loan spell at Leeds United last term, where he helped the Whites win the Championship.

The Blues have also been linked with West Ham star Declan Rice, who left Stamford Bridge as a youngster to move to the Hammers.

Lampard is a big fan of the England international was would likely prefer him to play at centre-back longer term, rather than in midfield.

But a move for Dunk could see efforts to sign the £70m-rated star put on the back burner, at least for now.

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