Blues legend and former manager Frank Lampard has spoken about his failed transfer pursuit of West Ham ace Declan Rice when he was in charge of Chelsea.

Lampard had never directly spoken about the transfer pursuit until now, but he was always full of praise for the 22-year-old whenever he was asked about the midfielder at his Chelsea press conferences.

It looked very promising, particularly after Rice himself admitted that he grew up in a Chelsea family and would love to play with Mason Mount at club level again.

However, the transfer move did not materialise due to “various reasons” as Lampard described it.

Chelsea v West Ham United - Premier League
(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

“He’s a leader, and it is clear that he’s destined for great things,” Lampard said about Rice in a Q&A to support Willow Foundation (via Goal).

“I have probably given it away with how I spoke about him, but I think it’s common knowledge that I was a big fan of his.

“It didn’t happen for various reasons, but we brought in a lot of players in the summer.

“But I was a big fan of him. For understandable reasons, West Ham know the player that they have on their hands.”

Chelsea v West Ham United - Premier League
(Photo by Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Chronicle view

Having spent over £200million last summer, it was always unlikely that Chelsea would splash the cash on another transfer deal for the England international.

But some fans would be left wondering about what would have happened had Lampard had his wish.

Lampard would have had an arguably ideal midfield partner for N’Golo Kante for his 4-2-3-1 formation at the start of the season and a great defensive midfield option for his 4-3-3 system.

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