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Chelsea manager Lampard rethinks Rice push; Soumare back on radar

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has shelved plans to sign a new centre-back.

The Athletic says Lampard has told Marina Granovskaia that he does not want a new player for the position.

It is believed Declan Rice was Lampard's top priority, with the former Blues star hoping to convert him from a holding midfielder to centre-back.

Instead, Lampard now wants Granovskaia to focus on recruiting a defensive midfielder as he is afraid N'Golo Kante and Jorginho could leave this summer.

Rice is still being considered but West Ham's £80m price-tag is disconcerting given the Blues have already spent £160m this summer.

One player being watched by Lampard is Lille's Boubakary Soumare.

The Ligue 1 club are open to selling Soumare and the 21-year-old, who came through the ranks at PSG, would cost significantly less than Rice.

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Paul Vegas

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