Declan Rice still has his heart set on a January move to Chelsea, according to transfer pundit Fabrizio Romano.
The West Ham star is developing a brilliant midfield partnership with Thomas Soucek and that is apparently not going unnoticed at Stamford Bridge.
Romano, speaking on the Here We Go Podcast, says that Chelsea are still keen on Rice and the feeling is mutual.
“Declan Rice still wants to join Chelsea in January” said Romano.
“Rice is still pushing to join Chelsea. But it is up to Chelsea to negotiate a fee with West Ham, which will be difficult in January.”
The transfer expert also says though that Rice respects the Hammers and is unlikely to ask for a transfer, which leaves the onus on Chelsea.
The Blues will have to initiate the deal and agree a fee with the Hammers and in January that is notoriously difficult.
Whether Chelsea can make the deal happen is open to debate, but Romano states that if Lampard is to swell his squad next month then midfield is where he will look to strengthen.
Rice wants to keep midfield role
But speaking last month, Rice said: “I’ve played midfield now for the last three seasons. I think people get carried away with kind of what they want me to do.
“My role is holding midfielder. There isn’t really any flair in that. I can slot in at centre-half but I think I’ve got much more to give and I think my confidence is growing in midfield.
“I think the more I start to drive forward with the ball like I’ve been doing in recent games.
“I’ve watched the top players like Patrick Vieira and Yaya Toure, every time they see a bit of space they drive into it they look powerful, they look strong and I think as a holding midfielder that’s rare these days.
“If I can keep adding that into my game I can keep catching the eye.”