Frank Lampard remains intent on landing a new defensive midfielder, in spite of N’Golo Kante’s return to form this season.

The Chelsea boss spent in excess of £200 million over the course of the summer transfer market and the majority of his new players have made an instant impact at Stamford Bridge with the west Londoners just two points adrift of Premier League leaders Spurs, and already through to the knockout stages of the UCL.

Kante, meantime, has regained full fitness and reestablished himself as an important cog in Lampard’s well oiled machine, but considering his age, he will turn 30 in March, Frank is aware of the need to look to the future.

West Ham’s Declan Rice remains his number one target but the England international’s £80 million valuation prevented a reported deal from getting done last summer.

According to the Daily Telegraph, aware of the need to strengthen in that area, Lampard was prepared to land Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid at nearly half the price.

Frank, however, was beaten to the punch by Arsenal, who triggered the Ghana international’s release clause on deadline day.

Following that setback, the manager will focus his attention squarely on recruiting Declan, be it in January or the summer, and the success of Ben, in particular, could aid his cause.

The Telegraph claims that some members of the Chelsea board felt £50m was too much to pay for the England defender but his early performances have rendered that deal value for money and Blues hero feels the same is likely to apply to Rice.