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Sport: Chelsea Step Up £70M Havertz Chase… And Rice Could Be Next

Chelsea are set to press ahead with a move for Kai Havertz, after his season with Bayer Leverkusen ended in defeat in the German Cup Final — and Frank Lampard is considering a move for West Ham’s Declan Rice to help improve his defence.

Lampard has identified Havertz as one of his top targets and Chelsea’s pursuit of the 21-year-old has been given a boost after Bayern Munich pulled out of the race to sign him.

Real Madrid have shown an interest in Havertz, but Lampard hopes to strengthen his attacking options further, following the signings of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner.

Havertz, who is valued at £70million, is expected to leave Leverkusen after they missed out on Champions League qualification. He is nowset for talks with the club over his future, after they lost 4-2 to Bayern in Saturday’s final.

Chelsea are weighing up a move for Rice, after identifying the West Ham youngster as a possible centre-back option, as Lampard bids to shore up his defence.

Rice is a boyhood Chelsea fan and spent seven years in their academy before being released when he was 14.

He has predominantly played as a midfielder, but played as a centre-back coming through the ranks at West Ham.

The Hammers, like most clubs facing the harsh financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, may sell players to raise cash this summer, but they do not want to lose Rice.

David Moyes has said he sees the 21-year-old, contracted until 2024, as a key part of his plans.

Chelsea also want to sign Leicester’s England left-back Ben Chilwell.

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