Chelsea ‘not done yet’ as Frank Lampard tipped to make £70m Declan Rice transfer bid
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is not yet done in the transfer market according to Sky Sports transfer expert Dharmesh Sheth, who says the London club could yet have a positive net spend despite the flurry of activity they have overseen in recent weeks. The window closes on October 5, meaning Chelsea have another four weeks to broker incoming and outgoing deals.
The Blues are closing in on the signing of Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen with a £90million deal in place for the Germany international.
The 21-year-old will become Chelsea’s sixth signing of the summer once he completes a medical and puts pen to paper on a five-year contract to move to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have already signed Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Malang Sarr and Thiago Silva, the latter two as free agents.
Havertz’s arrival will take their spending well over £200m and Lampard still wants a new starting goalkeeper, with Rennes’ £18m-rated shot-stopper Edouard Mendy his top target per Sky Sports.
Yet Football Insider say that West Ham’s Declan Rice also remains a prominent target for the Chelsea manager, with the holding midfielder’s valuation standing at £70m.
The Hammers are reluctant to lose the England international and are highly unlikely to budge over their price tag for the ex-Chelsea trainee, who was released at the age of 14 after seven years at the club.
It is claimed the Blues are readying a fresh cash-plus-player bid for Rice, having reportedly had a similar offer already rebuffed.
That proposal saw West Ham offered one or more of Fikayo Tomori, only on loan, and Kurt Zouma and Michy Batshuayi on loan or in permanent deals.
Football Insider say Chelsea are willing to be patient and will listen to offers for a whole host of players
And Sheth insists despite what seems a huge spend this summer, Chelsea’s lack of signings in recent windows – combined with big-money sales of Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard at up to £180m if add-ons are paid – means they have the firepower to make more big deals in the next month.
He told The Transfer Show: “This is the first window since January 2019 where Chelsea have spent money.
“So they still have the money they got for Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata burning a hole in their pocket.
“When you put all of that together, their net spend over that period comes to just £40m, and I don’t think they are done yet when it comes to incomings and outgoings, not by a long way.
“Willian and Pedro are off the wage bill, and they will want to get to get some money back for the likes of Victor Moses, Danny Drinkwater and Michy Batshuayi, should they sell them.
“Chelsea could actually be in profit when it comes to net spend if they are able to get money back for those players, with the Frank Lampard revolution in full swing.”
Kaveh Solhekol meanwhile added: “What is interesting at Chelsea is that we are seeing everyone singing from the same hymn sheet.
“In the past we have seen problems between the manager and those running the club when it comes to transfers, but that is not the case at the moment and that is why we are seeing them do so many deals.
“Frank Lampard played his young players last season, looked at his squad and has told the people at the top the areas he wants to strengthen, and they are doing just that.”
The Chelsea manager has however been warned by Jamie Carragher that if they do not sign a new keeper such as Mendy to challenge Kepa Arrizabalaga between the sticks, then they can forget about bridging the gap to Liverpool and Manchester City this term.
Chelsea finished 33 points behind Premier League champions Liverpool and 15 behind runners-up City, with the two clubs having been the teams to beat in recent years.
Ex-Liverpool defender Carragher said: “Chelsea had to buy four players, I get that.
“But if they don’t reinforce in the goalkeeping situation, I don’t see much change for them really in terms of where they will finish.”
While his Sky Sports colleague Gary Neville, formerly of Manchester United, said: “For 15 years Roman Abramovich has wanted a flamboyant team.
“I do think Frank Lampard has reinvigorated him with academy players finally coming through. They’ve played in a different way, they’re more energetic and they are really good to watch.
“They are more inconsistent and less reliable but you always get that when you go with younger players and a different style. But I think that’s what he [Abramovich] wants.
“He wants the excitement, the thrill around Chelsea and I think that’s why he’s invested this summer to go again because this team has got something he’s always wanted.”