Frank Lampard has revealed that he wanted to sign both Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham during his time as Chelsea boss.
After a legendary playing stint at Stamford Bridge, Lampard was handed the managerial reins in July 2019, going on to take charge of 84 matches before he was sacked in January 2021.
Lampard was initially hindered in the transfer market due to a ban being handed to the club, preventing them from acquiring fresh faces in the summer of 2019.
However, Chelsea were big spenders during the following year, completing the signings of Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner.
Nevertheless, Lampard, who is now in charge of Everton, has acknowledged that speculation regarding his desire to sign West Ham United’s Rice was correct.
Furthermore, the Englishman has stated that he was also keen to bring in Bellingham, who instead opted to join Borussia Dortmund when leaving Birmingham City in July 2020.
Speaking to Australian outlet KEEPUP during Everton’s time Down Under, Lampard has spoken on the pair ahead of England’s World Cup fixture with Iran.
He said: “He’s [Bellingham] crucial for England – an outstanding talent. He’s more experienced and talented than his years show – to do what he’s done at the top level already.
“I tried to sign him when I was at Chelsea actually – unfortunately it didn’t happen but I wanted to sign him and Declan Rice. That’ll be England’s midfield probably during this tournament.”
“There’s a lot of expectation so we’ll have to be a bit steady with him but the way he’s played and performed, he has a real maturity about him.”
Despite still having over two-and-a-half years remaining on his contract at the Westfalenstadion, Bellingham is being tipped to depart Dortmund next summer.
However, a recent report claimed that there is little interest in a move to Stamford Bridge, the 19-year-old instead allegedly preferring to sign for Real Madrid.
As for Rice, the 23-year-old has a deal at West Ham until 2024, although the Hammers possess the option of extending those terms by an extra 12 months.