Frank Lampard reveals Chelsea tried to sign Declan Rice from West Ham
Frank Lampard has revealed he tried to sign Declan Rice from West Ham during his time in charge of Chelsea.
The Blues were heavily linked with the England midfielder during Lampard’s 18-month spell at Stamford Bridge, which came to an end in January.
In a Q&A for the Willow Foundation, Lampard said: “We are fortunate to have him in England. West Ham are fortunate to have him.
“He’s a leader and it is clear that he’s destined for great things.
“I have probably given it away with how I spoke about him, but I think it’s common knowledge that I was a big fan of his.
“It didn’t happen for various reasons, but we brought in a lot of players in the summer. But I was a big fan of him.
“For understandable reasons, West Ham know the player that they have on their hands.
“I don’t want Declan to be in an uncomfortable position through this because all I see from him is absolute performance and desire to play for West Ham.
“They gave him the chance there and the choice will be Declan’s as the years go ahead, but his performances are great to watch.”
Rice was released by Chelsea at the age of 14, but has gone on to become one of the country’s best midfielders.
The 22-year-old, who is currently sidelined with a knee injury, has captained West Ham in the absence of Mark Noble for most of the season.
The Hammers are believed to value Rice at around £100million with Manchester United reportedly interested in signing him.