CHELSEA are the leading candidates to sign West Ham star Declan Rice after fresh reports of a January bid.
But Frank Lampard and Co. will be looking over their shoulders with Premier League rivals Arsenal also in contention.
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The Blues held discussions with Hammers officials over the summer and attemnpted to negotiate various different deals for the 11-cap Engaland international.
They were unsuccessful on that occassion but it's thought another bid will be on the table shortly.
And bookmakers Betfair have responded quickly by installing Chelsea as 7/2 favourites to sign Rice before February 2.
The Gunners follow next at 6/1, while Manchester United and Tottenham are a very distant third at 14/1.
Declan Rice next club odds – Betfair
- Chelsea: 7/2
- Arsenal: 6/1
- Manchester United: 14/1
- Tottenham: 14/1
- Liverpool: 20/1
- Manchester City: 25/1
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That 7/2 will likely plumett as the winter market draws closer.
Boss Lampard and assistant Jody Morris are thought to be 'big admirers' of the 21-year-old, who's played every minute under David Moyes this season.
Football Insider think Chelsea officials have also been given encouragement that West Ham would be prepared to do business.
That's despite their 'no deal' stance in public.
However, the Blues will need to offload TWO first-team players in January with Jorginho, Antonio Rudiger and Marcos Alonso on the chopping block.
That could open the door for one of their rivals to nip in at a much bigger price.
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