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Lampard ‘must sell defenders this summer’ to get Declan Rice or Jose Gimenez

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has reportedly been told he must shift a central defender this summer if he is to be able to buy one of his top targets.

Funds are available for Lampard in the transfer window, as the Chelsea legend turned manager goes about rebuilding a team in his own image.

Lampard has identified West Ham’s Declan Rice and Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez as prime candidates to help shore up his leaking defensive lines, though must flog a surplus player in order to make bids, according to the Telegraph.

Chelsea therefore look likely to part with either Andreas Christensen or Kurt Zouma, both of which have failed to nail down a regular starting berth under Lampard.

Last week Chelsea opted against exercising their buy-back clause for former player Nathan Ake, who looks set to leave Bournemouth and join Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

Lampard however has his eyes on West Ham’s versatile defensive midfielder Rice, who the hammers value at £65m.

Atletico’s Gimenez has also been made a top priority, though it appears unlikely the Blues will swoop for both players.

The Telegraph also report that another way to quickly raise capital and balance the books would be to sell midfielder Jorginho, who Lampard would be prepared to listen to offers for this summer.

The Italian has been in and out of the team this season, though did finish the campaign with a sustained run of matches. 

It is reported that Marcos Alonso or Emerson Palmeiri will have to leave Stamford Bridge to allow Lampard to sign a left-back, with his No.1 target still Ben Chilwell of Leicester City. 

Chelsea have also been linked with a loan move for former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho, who appears destined to spend more time away from parent club Barcelona following a failed move.

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