Chelsea want to make West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice a major target next summer, according to football.london.
The 22-year-old was in Chelsea's academy before being picked up by the Hammers and developing into one of the finest midfielders in the Premier League this season. Now, Chelsea are ready to sign him back for a big fee.
Frank Lampard was reportedly a big fan of the player when he managed the Blues but only now are Chelsea willing to seriously consider signing Rice. Manchester United are also said to be keen with a big need for a defensive midfielder.
West Ham are having another good season, following on from their sixth-place finish last time around. While they would be under pressure to sell Rice, however, the player may be keen to move back to the club where it all started for him and join childhood best friend Mason Mount once more.
David Moyes is under no illusions that his player is a wanted man - but is keen to stress to fans that he has no plans to offload Rice.
"Do we need the Champions League to keep Declan?" he recently asked, "No, because Declan is under contract first and foremost, so he can't go anywhere no matter what, and I keep saying it and I hope people know that when I say something, I mean it.
"We've not had an offer for Declan Rice and I hope we don't get one. And you've got an idea now of where we'd need to be if it was even going to be considered, certainly be me.
"If we could finish in Europe, in some sort of European position, I think it would be progress. And that would be progress for Declan Rice as well because he's been at West Ham while they've been bobbing around the bottom, so this is new for Declan as well."
Rice was a key member of England's side that reached the Euro 2020 final and has played 140 times in the Premier League already.
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.