Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano believes that Chelsea could make a move for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice in the January transfer window, as per The Mirror. 

The Blues have been long linked with the 21-year-old who has established himself as one of the most highly-rated young defensive midfielders in European football. Rice is so highly rated at West Ham that he is entrusted with the captaincy duties when Mark Noble is absent.

Since bursting onto the West Ham first-team scene in 2015, Rice has gone on to make more than 100 Premier League appearances and has since also worked his way into the England team. He will be of high probability to gain selection to the England squad which will compete at the rescheduled European Championships.

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Rice will have a strong connection to Chelsea

Rice is a fan favourite at the London Stadium and should think carefully about his next move. He is virtually assured of regular game time at West Ham as well as having a key leadership role within the side. He will need to make a move at some point to take his career to the next level but does not need to rush it.

He will feel connected to Chelsea as he is a product of the Blues youth development system and was released by the club in 2014, a year after he turned professional. Chelsea’s loss ended up being West Ham’s gain, though it is likely that Rice had dreams of playing for the Blues first-team as a youngster.

Frank Lampard is believed to be a keen admirer of Rice and is also an admirer of young talent. Rice could be a good addition at Stamford Bridge, particularly under the management of Lampard. Chelsea must act fast though as a player like Rice is likely to attract interest from a number of clubs.