Declan Rice has been the subject of ongoing speculation regarding a potential move to Chelsea.
Rice grew up as a boyhood Blues fan but was released by the club as a youngster before finding his way at West Ham.
The 21-year-old has now established himself as one of the Premier League's top holding midfielders and is back on Chelsea's radar.
He was linked with a summer move which never materialised with Chelsea splashing the cash elsewhere and the Hammers holding out for a big fee.
There remains speculation Frank Lampard will look to land Rice in the January transfer window or next summer.
And the pair came face to face on Wednesday night as Chelsea ran out 3-0 winners against Rice’s West Ham at Stamford Bridge.
Fans spotted Rice embracing Lampard at full-time – and believed that the midfielder seemed more enthusiastic about the encounter than the Chelsea manager.
Some Chelsea fans came up with the theory that the encounter showed Rice’s desire to return as they delivered their verdict on social media.
“i’ve never seen a more desperate fella than this guy in my life man,” one fan wrote, with another saying: “The man just wants to get a good relationship with Lampard ahead of his move.”
Another commented: “He’s acc begging Lampard to sign him” with another fan adding: “He’s begging to move there”.
Speaking ahead of Rice’s return to Stamford Bridge, Lampard said: "He's a fantastic player for West Ham and England so fair play, because his journey there after leaving Chelsea and going to West Ham is a good story to hear.
"There are lots of stories like that and it shows the player's strength of character. In terms of from our end, I certainly wouldn't use the word 'regret' – our academy is one of the best in the world and you look at our first team now with the players that we have produced who are in and around that squad.
"It's not easy. It's not an exact science to pick players but the academy staff do brilliantly here. Declan Rice has given himself personal credit for having the great start to the career that he's had at West Ham."
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