Chelsea boss Frank Lampard eyes cheap transfer alternative despite Declan Rice 'agreement'

Declan Rice of West Ham United during Training at Rush Green on September 25, 2020 in Romford, England.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is interested in signing Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare as an alternative to Declan Rice, according to reports. 

West Ham star Rice is Lampard's priority target for the remainder of the transfer window and has reportedly agreed a five-year contract with the Blues. However, the Hammers are demanding up to £80million for the England international.

The Mail claims Lampard wants to sign a young holding midfielder and Soumare is an alternative to Rice.

Soumare is likely to cost considerably less than Rice, with reports claiming Newcastle had a bid of £35m accepted for the 21-year-old in January, only for the player to reject a move to St James' Park.

Soumare joined Lille as a teenager from Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 and has made 55 Ligue 1 appearances to date.

The midfielder has represented France at youth levels from under-16 to under-21.

Soumare's contract at Lille runs until the summer of 2022.

The signing of Soumare would add to a list of seven signings Chelsea have already made this summer.

Germany internationals Timo Werner and Kai Havertz have been joined by former Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech, Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell, defensive duo Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr, and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

Chelsea would likely have to offload members of their squad before pursuing either Rice or Soumare.

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