Chelsea will renew their interest in West Ham midfielder Declan Rice when the transfer window reopens in January, according to reports.
The Blues were heavily linked with a move for the England international, who was formerly part of the club's academy, throughout the summer.
Rice is a holding midfielder by trade but was supposedly earmarked as a potential future centre-back by Frank Lampard.
According to the Daily Star, the Blues could attempt to prise him away from the London Stadium in January.
Despite forming Lampard's first-choice midfield duo, both Jorginho and N'Golo Kante continue to be linked with moves away from Stamford Bridge.
At 21, Rice could be a long-term option in the centre of the park, or Lampard could attempt to convert him into a centre-half.
Chelsea have kept clean sheets in their last two matches, drawing 0-0 with Sevilla in the Champions League and Manchester United in the Premier League.
However, there are still question marks over the team's defence and midfield after a summer of transfer activity that was focused on improving Lampard's attacking options.
Chelsea spent more than £200m to bring in Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Thiago Silva, Edouard Mendy and Ben Chilwell.
The Blues are expected to get closer to the top of the Premier League this season given their substantial outlay.
But Lampard will not yet be completely content with the squad at his disposal, and he may view Rice as the final piece in the puzzle.
However, West Ham will be loath to lose a player who has been spoken of as a potential future captain in east London.
And they are particularly unlikely to sanction Rice's departure midway through the 2020/21 season, so Chelsea might have to wait until next summer before mounting a bid.
While you’re here, subscribe to FourFourTwo and save 48% – available until Christmas. It’s the perfect gift idea for anybody who loves football (including yourself)!
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.