Declan Rice has already dropped Chelsea transfer hint with Frank Lampard declaration

Comments from Declan Rice have resurfaced following speculation that Chelsea are set to bid for the defensive midfielder. The England international is treasured at West Ham but the Hammers board are set to face a fight to keep him in the final week of the transfer window.

Reports claim that Chelsea are ready to bid £40million for the player, in a bid to persuaded him to move across London.

While Rice remains committed to West Ham, who he captained in the 4-0 win over Wolves, he has struggled to deny his love for the Blues in the past.

During lockdown, Rice and close friend Mason Mount were speaking with Rio Ferdinand in a joint interview while playing FIFA against each other.

Ferdinand asked Rice who he used to look up to for inspiration as a kid. The 21-year-old replied: “Obviously being a Chelsea fan, Joe Cole, Lamps [Frank Lampard] and JT [John Terry] were my idols.

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“It would only ever be Chelsea games that I was watching so them three were definitely up there.

“I’ve always been a Chelsea fan since I was a kid, it’s just been in the family since my dad really.

“My dad used to go back in the 80s, the 90s, I don’t think there’s one person in my family who isn’t a Chelsea fan.”

Rice was released by Chelsea as a teenager, while Mount stayed at the club and has now made the grade in the first team under Lampard.

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Now Rice could follow and the versatility midfielder was not afraid to hint that he is keen to return to Stamford Bridge to reunite with Mount.

Ferdinand asked Rice whether he could see himself playing with Mount again, other than international football.

Rice replied: “Yeah I’d love to. I’d love to play with him at club level again.”

Stand-in West Ham boss Alan Irvine made it clear that the club expect to keep the former Republic of Ireland international in the absence of David Moyes.

“Oh absolutely,” Irvine said when asked if he expected Rice to stay. “Declan is extremely happy at the club, he’s obviously been captain today in Mark’s [Noble] absence.”

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano claims that Rice is expected to push for a move to Chelsea if the Blues submit an official offer.

“Chelsea are trying to do the same [as Liverpool],” Romano told the Here We Go podcast.

“‘We want the big targets and not the plan B back up option’. If you talk with West Ham, you have to be honest they’re saying the player is staying and the player is not moving.

“It won’t be easy and Chelsea are now considering selling players. But Declan Rice will push to join Chelsea. He will go strongly to join Chelsea

“We will have to see what will happen because he also respects West Ham as normal but he’s going to tell West Ham ‘I want to join Chelsea’.

“Now it’s time to see what Chelsea will bid for Declan Rice because Chelsea are still yet to make an offer.”

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