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West Ham star Declan Rice

Chelsea are reportedly closing in on a deal for West Ham star Declan Rice with the midfielder apparently agreeing terms on a five-year contract. Frank Lampard has spent almost £250million this summer but he is eyeing one final piece to his jigsaw.

Chelsea released Rice from their academy in 2013 and are now desperate to get him back.

Italian transfer expert Nicolo Schira claims West Ham have rejected an opening offer of £45m and they are holding out for a fee in the region of £80m.

Lampard is expected to sell some of his fringe players to raise funds for the England international.

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It should not be a complicated transfer to make because Rice is keen on returning to Stamford Bridge and has already accepted a five-year contract.

Chelsea wrapped up a deal for Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy earlier this week so all of their efforts are now focussed on trying to sign Rice.

“I wouldn’t want to lose him anyway because he is too big a player for us, he is too important and a big part of the squad.

“He’s been captain already, I think he is learning a lot of leadership from Mark Noble, so I hope in the future we will have an incredibly talented footballer with great leadership skills and will be the captain of West Ham.”

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And transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has explained why it will be difficult for Chelsea to conclude a deal.

“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’.”

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Daily Express

The Daily Express is a daily national middle-market tabloid newspaper in the United Kingdom. Published in London, it is the flagship of Express Newspapers, owned by publisher Reach plc. It was first published as a broadsheet in 1900 by Sir Arthur Pearson. Its sister paper, the Sunday Express, was launched in 1918.

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