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Chelsea learn £100m asking price for transfer target as Lampard remains coy on summer advice to solve problems



(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

West Ham have set their asking price for midfielder Declan Rice this summer as they hope to fend off mounting interest from several Premier League clubs, according to reports.

The 24-year-old is out of contract at West Ham next summer, however the Hammers do have an option to extend Rice’s deal by a further 12 months.

Long-standing interest has been shown in the England international, including from Chelsea, whose interest dates back to Frank Lampard’s first stint at the club which began in the summer of 2019.

West Ham are desperate to keep hold of their club captain and biggest asset, but the interest is increasing. Rice is a strong target for Arsenal, while ESPN also report that Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United and Liverpool are all also monitoring developments.

James Olley reports that the valuation is ‘expected’ to be set at £100 million this summer as David Moyes’ side look to ward off interest.

Chelsea may find themselves with a lot of work to do if they want to sign Rice. Firstly, they are in need of trimming their bloated squad to raise funds to support a transfer spend this summer.

Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph claims the ‘majority of their focus’ is on outgoings, with Chelsea ‘planning to only make two or three key additions to their first-team squad’.

The report states that Chelsea are ‘plotting moves for a goalkeeper, striker and possibly a midfielder this summer’.

Chelsea also won’t be able to offer Champions League football unlike their transfer competitors following a dismal Premier League campaign this term.

They will be hoping Rice’s previous affiliation to the club during his academy days can help boost their chances, but the England international has previously expressed his desire to play at the top-level in Europe.

“100 per cent I want to play in the Champions League,” Rice said in November. “For the last two or three years I’ve been saying that.

“I’ve been playing consistently well for my club and I feel like I really want to keep pushing. I see my friends here who are playing Champions League and for big trophies.

“You only get one career and at the end you want to look back at what you’ve won and the biggest games you’ve played in.”