London [UK], April 10 (ANI): Former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard admitted that he wanted to sign the England midfielder Declan Rice to the Blues squad during his days at the Stamford Bridge.
After a run of five defeats in eight league games, the Blues legend lost his role in January and was replaced by Thomas Tuchel, who has gone on to improve the club's fortunes.
Lampard is currently on a break from football despite having been linked with a host of managerial jobs.
"Now you see him in the England squad and quickly you do not see an England team without Declan in it. We are fortunate to have him in England, West Ham are fortunate to have him. He is a leader and it is clear that he is destined for great things. I have probably given it away with how I spoke about him but I think it is common knowledge that I was a big fan of his," Goal.com quoted Lampard as saying.
"It did not 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.
"I do not want Declan to be in an uncomfortable position through this because all I see from him is absolute performance and desire to play for West Ham. They gave him the chance there and the choice will be Declan's as the years go ahead, but his performances are great to watch," he added.
In his personal life, Lampard and his wife Christine have had another child, a boy called Freddie.
After Tuchel took over the Blues went on a 14-game unbeaten run, finally losing last weekend to West Brom in a shock 5-2 defeat. Having been in 10th place when Lampard left, Chelsea are up to fifth in the Premier League. (ANI)