BBC Sport pundit backs Chelsea FC to sign 21-year-old to replace N’Golo Kante

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Mark Lawrenson reckons West Ham midfielder Declan Rice would be an excellent signing to replace N’Golo Kante at Chelsea FC.

The Blues could opt to sell the France international in the 2020 summer transfer window despite Kante’s impact at the west London side over the past four seasons.

The World Cup winner has been linked with a move to Serie A giants Inter Milan, where he could reunite with his former Blues boss Antonio Conte.

Kante struggled with injuries in the 2019-20 season, while Lampard used the France international sparingly after the club legend replaced Maurizio Sarri as Blues manager.

Chelsea FC have been linked with a swoop to sign Rice from their bitter rivals West Ham throughout most of the summer.

The Blues have already signed seven new players as Lampard continues his overhaul of the Chelsea FC squad ahead of his second season in charge.

Former Liverpool FC defender Lawrenson reckons Rice would be an excellent candidate to fill Kante’s void in Lampard’s starting XI.

“N’Golo Kante’s future with the Blues is still uncertain, which would ordinarily be a blow,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.

“But it seems like Lampard has a replacement lined up in the shape of West Ham’s Declan Rice, who would be another excellent buy.”

Kante has netted 11 goals in 170 games in all competitions over the past four seasons at the west London side.

The French midfielder has won the Premier League title, the FA Cup and the Europa League during his stint at Chelsea FC.

Kante is the first player to win the Premier League crown in successive seasons with different clubs.

Rice started his career as a youth player at Chelsea FC alongside Mason Mount before he moved to West Ham in 2014.

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