Rice was released by Chelsea as a teenager but has established himself as a proven Premier League performer since breaking through at West Ham and has become a regular in Gareth Southgate’s senior England squad.
Although nominally a central midfielder, Lampard is said to see Rice developing into a top class centre-half and a potential solution to Chelsea’s defensive woes.
Rice returned to pre-season training a fortnight ago, posting a picture on Instagram with a message that read ‘recharged & ready’.
West Ham played two friendlies on the same day last week, against Ipswich and Wycombe, and Rice failed to feature in either fixture and was again absent on Saturday, despite having been included in Southgate’s latest Three Lions squad ahead of the upcoming fixtures against Iceland and Denmark.
Almost as soon as David Moyes named his team for today’s match, Rice posted again on his Instagram stories, which showed him to be working in the gym in a West Ham training top, accompanied by the message ‘back working’.
The Hammers, publicly, remain adamant they will not sell their prize asset to their London rivals with Moyes saying last month: ‘My intention is not to sell Declan at all, my intention is to keep him.
‘We can’t stop other clubs making offers but I’m guessing you [the media] will speculate, but the truth is we have had no offers for anybody.
‘He is a really good player and I see him helping us, I hope that he sees what we are trying to add which will make him excited about being at West Ham.
‘Declan was reassured when he signed a five-year contract, when you do that you decide you are committed to the club. If somebody then turns up and offers you a bundle of cash, that’s the club’s decision.
‘I think Declan is the future captain of West Ham going forward. When Mark Noble comes to an end I think it will be Declan Rice. We have no intention of letting him go but if it does come it will need to be ‘Bank of England’ money.’
Chelsea have spent heavily already this summer, adding Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner to their forward line, while the signings of Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva were concluded this week.
Lampard remains keen to sign a new goalkeeper having lost faith in record signing Kepa Arrizabalaga, while Chelsea are expected to make a breakthrough in negotiations with Bayer Leverkusen over a possible £90m deal for Kai Havertz.