Manchester United are reportedly very keen on Declan Rice, but are relying on his willingness to wait for the summer to move which could allow Chelsea a free hit in the new year.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to be keen to add a defensive midfielder to his ranks but will face competition from Chelsea, who have long been linked with the West Ham star.
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Frank Lampard wants Rice to join him at Stamford Bridge with a view to playing him at centre-back.
The £80million-rated England international is thought to be keen on a return to Chelsea, where he emerged through the youth system.
United are set to battle the Blues, with the Manchester Evening News claiming they are prepared to make a significant bid in the summer.
But that could be a problem, with Chelsea thought to be ready to make a move for the 21-year-old in January.