Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has revealed why Chelsea’s pursuit of West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice fell through this summer.

Chelsea’s manager Frank Lampard made Declan Rice his first-choice target to improve the defensive midfield position but the Hammers refused to yield to Chelsea’s pressure.

Romano explained on this podcast ‘Here We Go Pod‘ why the blues failed to land the England international.

“The decision [by] Chelsea this summer, in general [was], ‘we are going for the top targets – Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, Edouard Mendy, [Ben] Chilwell, Thiago Silva – [we’re going] for our top, top targets. If we can’t sign them, we prefer to [keep] our [current] players’,” he said, as quoted by This is Football.

“So, their decision about the midfielder [in the latter stages of the transfer window] was, ‘we’re going to try again for Declan Rice’. They did [this], because they were talking with West Ham. West Ham always said, ‘no, we are not selling the player’. Chelsea said, ‘OK, [we’ll keep] Jorginho, [we’ll keep N’Golo] Kanté, [we’ll keep] our players.’”

Rice has made 114 times West Ham since his debut, scoring three goals and providing four assists.