The France international has been a mainstay of the Chelsea engine room following his move to Stamford Bridge from Leicester in the summer of 2016 and played a pivotal role under three successive maangers.
Kante hasn’t been as influential for Lampard as he was under the likes of Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri, but he has started all five games Chelsea have played this season, despite a host of new arrivals.
Kante is said to be well aware of Chelsea’s interest in West Ham’s England international Rice and recognises this could be his last season in west London.
According to ESPN, Kante’s perception of his waning standing was crystalised by Lampard’s refusal to sanction his recent request to attend the wedding of his best friend.
Chelsea have denied the exchange took place but Kante refused to deny it occured while on international duty with France this week.
The 29-year-old was forced to sit out Les Bleus’ midweek win over Croatia with a reported calf strain but trained with the rest of Chelsea’s first team squad on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s Premier League match against Southampton.
Lampard is said to greatly admire Rice’s versatility and attitude and will look to pounce when the transfer window reopens if the Hammers are in a position whereby the need to sell to raise funds.