Frank Lampard has confirmed that he failed with attempts to sign both Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham and West Ham's Declan Rice during his time as Chelsea manager.
Chelsea were under a transfer ban during Lampard's first summer but free to spend in his second, with the Blues bringing in Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Edouard Mendy and Ben Chilwell.
Lampard wouldn't make it to the next transfer window, however, receiving his marching orders in December before Thomas Tuchel came in to replace him.
Speaking to KEEPUP to preview England at the World Cup, Lampard confessed that he had even bigger plans for his final transfer window in charge.
“[Bellingham]'s crucial already. He’s an outstanding talent for such a young player,” Lampard said.
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“He’s more experienced and talented than his year’s show – to do what he’s done at the top level already. I tried to sign him [from Birmingham] when I was at Chelsea, unfortunately that didn’t happen, I tried to sign him and Declan Rice, that will be England’s midfield for this tournament.
“It’s a lot of expectation so we have to be a bit steady with him but the way he’s played, the way he’s performed he has a real sort of mature sense about him as well so I’m sure not too much will phase him and I expect him to go and have a good tournament.”
90min understands that Rice remains Chelsea's top midfield target ahead of the 2023 summer window, although the Blues are also among the suitors of Dortmund star Bellingham. who could end up staying in Germany.