Marco van Basten has apologised after he was heard saying "sieg heil", a phrase synonymous with a Nazi salute, live on Dutch television.

Former Netherlands, Ajax and AC Milan forward Van Basten was working as an analyst for Fox Sports on Ajax's Eredivisie clash with Heracles on Saturday.

Prior to the match, Fox presenter Hans Kraay interviewed Heracles coach Frank Wormuth in German.

However, Kraay's attempt at conducting the interview in German amused Van Basten, who said: "Sieg heil, not so beautiful, pancake."

That sparked significant controversy, with "sieg heil" having been a phrase commonly used in Nazi Germany before and during World War II.

Van Basten has subsequently apologised, insisting he did not mean to cause offence.

"I didn't mean to shock people, I just wanted to ridicule Hans' German, but I'm sorry," the 55-year-old said.

Van Basten's comments follow on from Excelsior player Ahmad Mendes Moreira receiving racist abuse from Den Bosch supporters in a second-tier match last weekend.

The incident prompted Netherlands star Georginio Wijnaldum to vow to leave the pitch if he was racially abused, as well as calling on the Dutch government to act.

Protests were also held across the top two tiers in the Netherlands this weekend, with players standing still for the opening minute of each match.

Edwin van der Sar has signed a new four-year contract as Ajax's general manager, seemingly ending any chance of him moving to Manchester United.

Van der Sar returned in 2012 to the Dutch club he served as a player, joining as a marketing director before being elevated to his current key leadership role four years later.

Since Van der Sar took up that position, Ajax have taken a significant step towards being the European force they were when the former goalkeeper played for the club in the 1990s.

"Very happy with my contract extension at this beautiful club," he wrote on his official Twitter account.

"We've had some difficult moments, but the good times are definitely back. And of course we want more in the future!"

Although last season's Eredivisie title was their first since 2014, Ajax reached the Europa League final in 2016-17 and then captured the imaginations of neutrals en route to the Champions League semi-finals last term.

Long renowned for their impressive academy, Ajax have been particularly effective at bringing through talented players in the past few seasons, while their recruitment has also been praised in recent times.

Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong are among those to have come through and been sold on at a massive profit, while David Neres, Hakim Ziyech, Nicolas Tagliafico, Lisandro Martinez and others highlight Ajax's excellent talent identification.

Van der Sar's overseeing of such areas saw him become one of the favourites to land a similar role at another of his former clubs, Manchester United, when executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was reportedly looking into hiring a director of football in 2018.

However, United have provided precious few updates on their search for that position, with Van der Sar now apparently out of reach if the Old Trafford club do ultimately decide to fill the void.

Arsenal's 2-0 loss to Leicester City could spell the end of Unai Emery's tenure.

The Gunners failed to win for the fourth Premier League match in succession on Saturday, testing the patience of club officials.

According to reports, contact has been made with Luis Enrique to assess his interest in the job.

 

TOP STORY – ARSENAL MAKE LUIS ENRIQUE ENQUIRY

It could be a case of one Spaniard out, another Spaniard in at Emirates Stadium.

El Confidencial's Kike Marin claims Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi has sounded out Luis Enrique about replacing Unai Emery as head coach.

The ex-Barcelona and Roma boss has been out of football since stepping down as Spain's head coach due to personal reasons in June, two months before the tragic death of his young daughter, Xana.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United have joined the race for in-demand Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana, according to the Mirror. The Red Devils are also rumoured to be chasing Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen and Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, their former player.

- As rumours linking Eriksen to Old Trafford re-emerge, Tottenham are preparing to move for a former United man. The Mirror say Spurs are plotting a £50million bid for Memphis Depay, who has flourished since leaving the Premier League for Ligue 1's Lyon.

- The same British tabloid believes Chelsea could splash £70million on towering Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic if their transfer ban is lifted in January.

- Olivier Giroud could be leaving Chelsea for a fee of around £5million. The Daily Express say Antonio Conte's Inter and Major League Soccer side Vancouver Whitecaps are prepared to offer the France international an escape route.

- Giroud could depart Stamford Bridge for Italy and Mario Pasalic might remain there. The Chelsea-owned midfielder is on loan at Serie A outfit Atalanta, who are considering forking out the €15million required to keep him, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Ajax and Brazil forward David Neres has been ruled out for the remainder of the year with a knee injury sustained against Chelsea, head coach Erik ten Hag has confirmed.

The 22-year-old has featured 20 times for the Dutch champions in all competitions this season, scoring six times and providing a couple of assists.

Neres played 72 minutes of Ajax's 4-4 Champions League draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, but he damaged his meniscus in the first half and is sidelined until 2020.

"We will have to make do without David until the winter break," Ten Hag said at a news conference ahead of Sunday's home meeting with Utrecht.

"At half-time [against Chelsea] I asked everybody if they were okay and everybody said yes. Directly after the game it was clear that he was injured, but we didn't expect that it was so heavy.

"I think it happened in the first half. There were two small moments when he got a knock. But I can't know for sure."

Neres, who has started four games for Brazil this year, will miss Ajax's crucial Champions League games with Lille and Valencia.

"It's a major setback. These things happen. I feel really sorry for him," Ten Hag said.

"It's a major blow for him, but for the team as well. But it's mainly hard for him, because he was getting in a better shape. That makes it a big blow for the entire team as well."

Eredivisie leaders Ajax are top of Champions League Group H, level on points with Chelsea and Valencia.

Ajax full-back Sergino Dest is in line to make his competitive debut for the United States after being included in their squad for the first time since rejecting the Netherlands.

Dest earned his first senior caps for USA in a pair of September friendlies but was not called up for last month's CONCACAF Nations League games against Cuba and Canada.

The 18-year-old has featured heavily for Ajax this term and had been tipped to switch allegiance to his native Netherlands, with boss Ronald Koeman showing an interest.

However, Dest confirmed last week he intends to continue representing USA - whom he qualifies for through his father - and has now been included for this month's competitive fixtures with Canada and Cuba.

Should he feature in either match, Dest will be officially tied to USA, ruling out the prospect of ever switching to the Netherlands.

Chelsea's in-form forward Christian Pulisic has also been included in the initial 24-man squad, with the full roster not being announced until after the MLS Cup on Sunday.

Romelu Lukaku's two-goal showing for Inter at Bologna has earned him a place in the FUT Team of the Week, though Timo Werner's inclusion is arguably the most deserved of this week's selection.

Werner lit up the Bundesliga at the weekend with a hat-trick and a treble of assists in RB Leipzig's 8-0 demolition of Mainz, having a hand in all but two of Leipzig's goals in a remarkable win.

The Germany international became only the second player to be involved in six goals in a single Bundesliga match since detailed Opta data collection began in 2004-05 – the first being Claudio Pizarro with four goals and two assists in May 2013.

He is partnered in attack by Lukaku after his goals secured 2-1 comeback win on the road, while a forward-thinking back three includes Juventus star Matthijs de Ligt and Manchester City full-back Kyle Walker.

Below, we examine the entire squad that is set to be up for grabs online.

FUT Team of the Week

GK: Yann Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach) – 86

RB: Kyle Walker (Manchester City) – 86

CB: Matthijs de Ligt (Piemonte Calcio/Juventus) – 86

LB: Alex Grimaldo (Benfica) – 85

LM: Filip Kostic (Eintracht Frankfurt) – 84

CAM: Iker Muniain (Athletic Bilbao) – 84

CM: Luis Alberto (Lazio) – 86

LM: Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Dortmund) – 84

CAM: Hakim Ziyech (Ajax) – 86

ST: Timo Werner (RB Leipzig) – 85

ST: Romelu Lukaku (Inter) – 86

SUBSTITUTES

GK: Walter Benitez (Nice) – 83

CB: Chris Smalling (Roma) – 83

LB: Frank Fabra (Boca Juniors/Buenos Aires) – 82

RM: Fabian Orellana (Eibar) – 82

CAM: Nicolas Lodeiro (Seattle Sounders) – 82

ST: Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) – 84

ST: Joao Pedro (Cagliari) – 81

RESERVES

CB: Harry Ashcroft (Finn Harps) – 69

ST: Camillo Ciano (Frosinone) – 80

CM: John Lundstram (Sheffield United) – 76

ST: Mohamed Buya Turay (Djurgardens) – 77

ST: Rushian Hepburn-Murphy (Tranmere Rovers) – 71

Paul Pogba is injured, Juan Mata is on the fringes and Manchester United are in desperate need of creativity.

Kai Havertz, the talented Bayer Leverkusen midfielder, might hold the answer.

According to a new report, the Germany international could soon be the subject of a massive transfer bid from Old Trafford.

 

TOP STORY – HAVERTZ HEADED TO MANCHESTER?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made 20-year-old Kai Havertz his top transfer target, says the Daily Star.

But the report suggests Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is willing to wait until the end of the season before making an £80million offer.

Havertz, who has been linked with Bayern Munich, is one of the most admired young midfielders in Europe.

He scored 17 Bundesliga goals last season and has notched twice in nine appearances this term.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca claim Barcelona have joined the race for sought-after Salzburg striker Erling Haaland. The teenage sensation scored his seventh Champions League goal in Tuesday's draw at Napoli and has reportedly attracted interest from Barca's LaLiga rivals Real Madrid, among others.

- Barcelona do have at least one exciting prospect dreaming of joining them. Highly rated Ajax defender Sergino Dest told Bleacher Report his "biggest goal" is to play for the Blaugrana, while the United States international also has his eye on a stint in the Premier League.

- Trouble is brewing in Naples. Gazzetta dello Sport suggest Napoli head coach Carlo Ancelotti and his players are in rebellion against president Aurelio De Laurentiis, who ordered the team to enter a training retreat amid a poor run of results. Ancelotti did not appear for the customary post-match news conference following the 1-1 draw with Salzburg at Stadio San Paolo.

- Another successful Italian coach, Massimiliano Allegri, should reject any approach from managerless Bayern Munich and instead focus on becoming the next Manchester United boss. That is the view of Fabio Capello, who told Radio Anch'io Sport his compatriot would be the "best choice" for the Red Devils.

- Back to the Premier League and England, where Granit Xhaka is dealing with the fallout from being stripped of the Arsenal captaincy. The Daily Mirror report the Gunners could now look to offload the midfielder in January, given his fractured relationship with the club's fans.

Dusan Tadic said "one guy came and stole everything" as the Ajax captain appeared to accuse the referee of "destroying" his team's Champions League clash against Chelsea.

Ajax were reduced to nine men in the second half at Stamford Bridge, where the Eredivisie champions saw their 4-1 lead erased in a thrilling 4-4 draw with Chelsea.

Tammy Abraham and Kepa Arrizabalaga own goals and strikes from Quincy Promes and Donny van de Beek had Ajax in control until Daley Blind and Joel Veltman were sent off in the space of a minute.

Jorginho converted the resulting 71st-minute penalty – his second successful spot-kick of the match – before substitute Reece James equalised three minutes later at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta had a late goal ruled out by VAR.

"We were much better," Ajax star Tadic said afterwards. "We should just talk about our game because we had 4-1 and everything was under control and then one man steals everything from us.

"Big disappointment, because we should just talk about Ajax and how we play nice football, but we cannot because one guy came and stole everything.

"We saw a situation where there's a foul on Daley Blind, then it's not second yellow for Daley Blind, then it's not second yellow for Joel Veltman, then it's not a penalty.

"I have never in my life seen triple punishment, never. But everything starts with a foul on Daley Blind, he was tackled by [Christian] Pulisic I think.

"It's a big disappointment. I don't like to make excuses, I don't like to talk about other people. We should just be talking about how Ajax played much better than Chelsea but we cannot because somebody destroyed our game."

The result left Ajax, Chelsea and Valencia level on seven points after four matchdays in Group H, with Erik ten Hag's side top on goal difference.

Ajax defender Noussair Mazraoui added: "I'm very disappointed. We deserved to win. You are leading 1-4, eventually it's 4-4.

"In the end you could say you should be happy with a point, but how it went was a disgrace to get two red cards in one moment. For me that is new and happened never before."

Erik ten Hag said Ajax were denied victory by VAR and the referee following their thrilling eight-goal draw with Chelsea in the Champions League.

Ajax led 4-1 10 minutes into the second half before last season's semi-finalists had two men sent off and Chelsea staged a stunning comeback for a 4-4 draw in London on Tuesday.

Tammy Abraham and Kepa Arrizabalaga own goals and strikes from Quincy Promes and Donny van de Beek had Ajax in control until Daley Blind and Joel Veltman were sent off in the space of a minute.

Jorginho converted the resulting 71st-minute penalty – his second successful spot-kick of the match – before substitute Reece James equalised three minutes later at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta had a late goal ruled out by VAR.

Speaking afterwards, head coach Ten Hag told reporters: "Angry. Am I angry? I am more disappointed. Disappointed in the resulted. But also, proud the way we played, with 11 men but also with nine men."

Asked if Ajax lost points because of VAR, Ten Hag – who has been linked to the Bayern Munich vacancy following Niko Kovac's departure – replied: "Yes. I think so. Also in Amsterdam [a 1-0 loss to Chelsea] two crucial moments they got wrong, and also tonight the VAR is wrong."

"Tonight, that is football, you have to accept it," Ten Hag added. "How hard it might be. The positive thing you can take from this game is that we played great.

"But the decisions of the referee and VAR cannot be reversed. But we have been punished very harsh tonight."

The result left Ajax, Chelsea and Valencia level on seven points after four matchdays in Group H, with Ten Hag's side top on goal difference.

"They executed the plan perfectly," Ten Hag said. "We are still top of the group. How hard it is to accept this result, we must look forward. We have all to play for and we must continue. I'm happy with the development from the team."

Frank Lampard admitted he "cannot explain" Chelsea's 4-4 Champions League draw with Ajax after his side battled back from three goals down against their nine-man opponents.

Tammy Abraham and Kepa Arrizabalaga scored own goals, either side of Jorginho and Quincy Promes netting, as Chelsea conceded three first-half goals for the first time in the competition on Tuesday.

Ajax earned a 4-1 lead 10 minutes into the second half at Stamford Bridge and were 4-2 in front – Cesar Azpilicueta pulling one back – when Daley Blind and Joel Veltman were both dismissed in quick succession.

Hosts Chelsea capitalised on the two-man advantage as Jorginho converted from the penalty spot and Reece James netted 16 minutes from time, but Azpilicueta was denied a late winner by VAR as Abraham was adjudged to have handled the ball in the build-up.

Chelsea are level on seven points with Ajax and Valencia in Group H with two matches remaining and head coach Lampard was ultimately pleased with a draw in London.

"I can't explain the game," he told BT Sport. "For all the things we might analyse back, the madness of the game, we are here for entertainment I suppose and anyone who watched that has to say what a game of football. 

"Respect to Ajax, what a spectacle. I don't think I have been in a game like it. I said at half time it will be 3-3 or 4-4, we were so in the game.

"We looked dangerous and I felt we would build momentum. I am not happy overall - this is the Champions League and we made too many mistakes.

"At half-time I would have taken a draw for sure. Let's take it as what it was."

Chelsea's comeback was no doubt helped by the dismissals of Blind and Veltman in the space of a minute.

Blind was shown a second yellow card for fouling Abraham and defensive team-mate Veltman followed him down the tunnel for handling Callum Hudson-Odoi's shot in the same attacking move, while Azpilicueta's late strike was also controversially ruled out in another game dominated by VAR.

"The red cards and VAR... every manager is talking about VAR," Lampard said at his post-match news conference. 

"I need to watch that back and see them. When you are on the sidelines it is difficult to grasp straight away."

Second-half substitute James made a telling impact from the bench as he became Chelsea's youngest ever Champions League goalscorer at 19 years and 332 days.

"He is a fantastic young player," Lampard said. "I felt we wanted more on the right-hand side. He is going to be a top player. He has got great quality.

"The modern full-back to join in, some are doing in an outstanding way."

However, the teenage defender felt Chelsea should have gone on to claim a third successive European win in the remainder of the match.

"They were hard to break down and we took advantage of them going down to nine men, it was a shame we couldn't win," he told BT Sport.

"Scoring a goal is a bonus. The manager told me to come on and liven the boys up. We had chances to win it but from where we were at half time it's a good result."

Chelsea battled back from three goals down to earn a 4-4 draw in Tuesday's thrilling Champions League clash with Ajax, who were made to pay for two red cards at Stamford Bridge as the hosts were denied a dramatic winner by VAR.

Frank Lampard's side conceded three first-half goals in the competition for the first time as Tammy Abraham and Kepa Arrizabalaga both put into their own net, either side of Jorginho and Quincy Promes netting.

Ajax opened up a 4-1 lead through Donny van de Beek early in the second half and were still 4-2 in front - Cesar Azpilicueta pulling one back - when Daley Blind and Joel Veltman were dismissed in the space of a minute.

Jorginho scored his second penalty of the match to reduce the arrears and substitute Reece James struck 16 minutes from time to leave Chelsea, who had a late Azpilicueta goal ruled out by VAR, above Ajax at the top of Group H.

Tuesday's Champions League schedule presents the chance for Marco Reus to set a new record for Borussia Dortmund, while Erling Haaland will hope to maintain his scoring run.

Reus drew a blank last time out in Europe, the Bundesliga side losing 2-0 to Inter, but will hope to make club history in the return fixture in Germany.

Barcelona are top of the table in the same group and the reigning LaLiga champions will be eager to preserve their unbeaten home run when they take on Slavia Prague at Camp Nou.

Liverpool are another team who seem to relish having home comforts, plus history tells us Chelsea should be feeling confident when Ajax visit Stamford Bridge.

We have picked out some of the notable numbers from Opta ahead of the eight games taking place at the start of matchweek four.

 

Barcelona v Slavia Prague

15 - Following his goal last time out, Lionel Messi has now scored in 15 consecutive UEFA Champions League seasons he has appeared in (since the start of 2005-06), a feat only matched by Real Madrid icon Raul (between 1995-96 and 2010-11).

33 - Barcelona are on a run of 33 home games without defeat in the competition. That is the longest streak in Champions League history, while they have only lost once in their last 55 outings at Camp Nou.

 

Borussia Dortmund v Inter

3 - Lautaro Martinez will look to become the first player to find the net in three consecutive Champions League appearances for Inter since Samuel Eto'o, who scored in four in a row in 2010

17 - Marco Reus has scored 17 Champions League goals for Borussia Dortmund, making him the club's joint-top scorer alongside former team-mate Robert Lewandowski.

 

Chelsea v Ajax

10 - Willian has created 10 goalscoring chances for his Chelsea team-mates so far in Europe this season. However, he is still yet to provide an assist!

100 - Chelsea have won every Champions League match when they have faced Eredivisie opponents. They overcame Ajax in the reverse fixture last time out, adding to home and away victories over Feyenoord in the 1999-2000 season.

 

Liverpool v Genk

11 - Alisson has kept 11 clean sheets in his Champions League career - six for Liverpool and five for Roma. Only Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen (12) has posted more since the start of the 2017-18 season.

23 - Liverpool have not lost at home in all European competitions since October 2014, a run of 23 games. The last visiting team to celebrate success at Anfield? Real Madrid (3-0).

 

Lyon v Benfica

0 - Benfica have won none of their four away Champions League matches played on French soil (D2 L2). In fact, they have failed to score a single goal so far!

6 - Lyon have drawn each of their last six home Champions League matches – the longest such run in the history of the competition.

 

Napoli v Salzburg

13 - Will Napoli get lucky at home for a 13th time in the Champions League? They have won 12 of their last 18 played out in front of their own fans, including four of the last five since a 4-2 loss to Manchester City in November 2017.

19 - Erling Haaland (19) is aiming to become only the second teenager in the history of Europe's top-tier club tournament to score in four consecutive appearances. Only Kylian Mbappe has previously achieved the feat.

 

Valencia v Lille 

10 - Valencia have conceded at least once in each of their last 10 home Champions League matches. They have been beaten in their last two European home games and will be aiming to avoid losing three in a row at the Mestalla for the first since November 2007.

14 - Including qualifiers, Lille are winless in their last 14 European games (D7 L7). Their last victory was way back in July 2014.

 

Zenit v RB Leipzig

14 - Zenit have won their previous 14 group-stage matches at home in the Europa League and Champions League combined, a run stretching back to November 2014, when they beaten 2-1 by Bayer Leverkusen.

10 - At 32 years and 105 days, Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann will become the youngest coach to reach the milestone of 10 Champions League matches in charge.

Raheem Sterling dreams of playing abroad and could be about to get his wish.

Real Madrid reportedly want to sign the Manchester City star after succeeding in their attempts to lure Eden Hazard from Chelsea.

To make the deal happen, the Spanish giants are ready to send Gareth Bale back to the Premier League.

 

TOP STORY – SANTIAGO BERNABEU CALLING FOR STERLING

China continues to loom as the likeliest escape route for Gareth Bale, but Real Madrid might just have a different destination in mind.

According to Sky Sports, Madrid are preparing to offer the Wales winger plus £70million in a bid to prise Raheem Sterling from Manchester City.

Whether the Premier League champions have any interest in 30-year-old Bale is another matter, while the long-term contract extension Sterling signed last November gives them a strong bargaining position.

 

ROUND-UP

- Fresh speculation linking Kylian Mbappe to Zinedine Zidane's Madrid will prompt Paris Saint-Germain to offer the France forward an enticing new deal worth around €40million per season, Le Parisien reports. Mbappe has just over two years left on his current contract.

PSG are not just busy attempting to tie down their own players. De Telegraaf claims the Ligue 1 champions are one of three clubs expressing interest in Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana. Tottenham and Manchester United have also reportedly made contact with the 23-year-old's agent.

- Chelsea have identified several big-name January targets if their transfer ban is lifted at an appeal hearing later this month. Borussia Dortmund teenager Jadon Sancho, Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha and Lyon striker Moussa Dembele are the primary targets according to The Telegraph, which also lists Ben Chilwell and Nathan Ake among the names interesting Frank Lampard.

- Rade Krunic, one of AC Milan's better performers in the weekend loss to Lazio, will not be allowed to leave the club on loan, despite Bosnia and Herzegovina boss Robert Prosinecki advising him to seek more playing time. Calciomercato say the recent Rossoneri signing is part of Stefano Pioli's plans and will be staying put at San Siro.

Erik ten Hag has confirmed he will stay at Ajax for the remainder of the season, seemingly ending speculation of a move back to Bayern Munich.

Dutchman Ten Hag was previously in charge of Bayern's second string and, following the departure of Niko Kovac on Sunday, has been linked with a return to the Bundesliga club.

However, speaking to the media ahead of Ajax's Champions League fixture against Chelsea on Tuesday, the 49-year-old ruled out heading back to Bavaria - for now at least.

When asked if he plans to stay with his current employers, he replied: "I can confirm that. I feel a strong connection with my team, with everyone with Ajax. I can confirm I will stay in Ajax this season."

Ten Hag did admit he retains a love for Bayern but is "not a dreamer", instead choosing to focus on Ajax getting a positive result at Stamford Bridge.

"Bayern is a fantastic club – I felt really comfortable and really enjoyed working there. They are still in my heart, but now I am with Ajax," he said.

"I'm not a dreamer – I focus on Ajax and that's important. I live for today, my only focus is on Ajax and tomorrow's game with Chelsea."

Surprise semi-finalists last season, Ajax are level with Chelsea on six points in Group H, though they lost at home to the Blues in the previous round of fixtures.

Ten Hag understands his players face a tall order to prevail against their Premier League hosts, believing Frank Lampard's squad can go all the way in the competition.

"They are one of the favourites," he said. "It's going to be difficult, but every game is going to be difficult. We trust in ourselves.

"We know we have to play perfectly, give our best performance. Then we will have a chance."

Frank Lampard insists he is "very happy" with the players at his disposal as Chelsea appeal against a transfer ban imposed by FIFA.

The Premier League side were blocked from signing new players for two transfer windows in February after breaching rules relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.

That ban was partially upheld following Chelsea's initial appeal to FIFA, although the club are still unable to bring in senior players, serving the first part of their suspension in the recent transfer window.

Chelsea were permitted to register players under the age of 16, but the club announced their intention to take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, with the hearing date now set for November 20.

Lampard says he is relaxed about the club's transfer situation, given how impressively academy graduates Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori have taken to life in the first team this season.

Asked for his opinion on the appeal at a news conference ahead of his side's Champions League clash against Ajax on Tuesday, Lampard said: "I'm very interested, but I don't know enough about the legal situation to delve.

"It can effect what we can do, but it is a little down my list. We have games against Ajax and Crystal Palace to think about.

"We are on a good run. We will always look to improve if we can, but I am very happy with what I've got."

After losing to Valencia in their opening Group H game, Chelsea have bounced back with consecutive wins over Lille and Ajax.

They are level on six points with Dutch champions Ajax at the group's summit, but Lampard refuted suggestions the Blues would have one foot in the knockout stages if they overcome Erik ten Hag's side at Stamford Bridge.

"I don't like to say that," he added. "I felt at the start it would be tight. We have had two good results and another one would be great for us. But the danger of Ajax is massive.

"After losing the opening game, we have shown a great reaction. It is expected of Chelsea to go through. It is maybe why we had the reaction after Valencia. We need to have the same attitude as the last results."

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