West Ham are ‘confident’ that Chelsea will end their interest in Declan Rice following the sacking of Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have held a long-standing interest in signing Rice with the midfielder having continued to impress since breaking into the first-team at the London Stadium, with Lampard having identified the 22-year-old as a priority target to strengthen his side.
Rice was released by Chelsea as a teenager before crossing the capital to sign for West Ham, and Lampard’s reported interest in the player is understood to have created tensions between the Blues’ hierarchy and manager.
The Athletic reported on Monday that Lampard’s constant pushing to sign Rice had become a source of frustration for the Chelsea board and West Ham believe the 42-year-old’s dismissal will now end the west London side’s interest in the midfielder.
According to the Telegraph, Chelsea refused to sanction a summer move for Rice unless the club raised further funds through player sales, whilst there were reservations about investing a significant fee into a player the club previously allowed to leave for nothing.
Chelsea confirmed the appointment of Thomas Tuchel as their new head coach on an 18-month deal on Tuesday and it remains to be seen how the former PSG manager looks to strengthen his options.
West Ham’s hopes of retaining the star have been handed a major boost by the managerial change, though there could be interest from elsewhere during the summer with both Manchester United and Manchester City having previously been linked with the England international.
The report also believes that Liverpool could make an approach for the star who is understood to be valued at around £80m, though much will depend on the Reds’ finances during the summer window.
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