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Football Reporting


Lampard admits he wanted Rice at Chelsea in first remarks since his sacking

The former Blues manager revealed that he has already rejected offers after leaving Stamford Bridge and that he is waiting for the perfect opportunity

Frank Lampard has spoken for the first time since losing his job as Chelsea head coach, admitting he wanted to sign Declan Rice and saying he is waiting for the perfect fit before returning to management.

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 improving the club’s fortunes.

Lampard is now taking a break from football despite having been linked with a host of managerial jobs, including the ones at Bournemouth and with the England Under-21s. The 42-year-old sat down to support the Willow Foundation in a Q&A ahead of the London Football Awards on April 29

What he said?

“No matter how good you think you are or whatever circumstances you are in, [being sacked] can happen,” Lampard said.

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“It gives you a sense of perspective of what’s important. It came at a time where we were due a young son and it has given me a lot more time to be home so you count your blessings on that front.

“It has been great to be around the family. I have had some opportunities that have come up in the last six weeks to two months that have been flattering and nice but it wasn’t the right thing. It has certainly been nice to step out having been managing two and a half years full pelt.

“With the family situation, the opportunities were not quite right. I think about it and it would be something I am keen to do at the right time and the right place. As much as I am resting and recuperating away from the game, I am keeping an eye on it.

“I am looking forward to things that may come. I am watching football and trying to learn and get better. In this game, you never stop learning so I will try and find the right time and opportunity, if it comes and I am very keen to get working again.”

In addition, he went on to admit that he tried to sign Rice, who has been nominated for London Footballer of the Year: “Now you see him in the England squad and quickly you don’t see an England team without Declan in it.

“We are fortunate to have him in England, West Ham are fortunate to have him. He’s a leader and it is clear that he’s destined for great things. I have probably given it away with how I spoke about him but I think it’s common knowledge that I was a big fan of his.

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“It didn’t 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 don’t 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.”

What has happened to Lampard and Chelsea since?

Lampard has been out of work for the last few months but he says he has been watching a lot of football in preparation for his next role. In his personal life, he 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.

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