Frank Lampard has demanded more urgency from Chelsea after they suffered a fourth defeat in five Premier League games against Bournemouth on Saturday.

Chelsea were poor against Eddie Howe's men – who went into the game on a run of five straight top-flight losses – and scarcely tested Cherries goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale before Dan Gosling's 84th-minute winner, given by VAR after it had initially been ruled out by referee Graham Scott.

The Blues come up against former manager Jose Mourinho when they travel to Tottenham next weekend and Lampard has demanded his side loosen the shackles in which they appear to be playing.

"If we are not at our best and if we don't have enough, then we need to find another way," he told a media conference.

"We need urgency in our play. Getting it through the lines. Don't play safe; we played too safe.

"In front of our home fans, it's clear we are not playing well enough. We are creating a lot but giving away silly goals. We didn't create enough. We didn't get the fans excited enough."

Asked if he was blaming the result on the poor atmosphere created by fans, Lampard responded: "I'm not blaming them. I would be the first to say that, but I am never going to say that today. The play was too slow. I won't blame the fans. The responsibility is on the players.

"I have been in the dressing room playing after those games and I am not going to draw a line between me and the players. We have a long week where they can go away a couple of days and, when they come back, train hard for Tottenham. We have to admit at the moment it is not good enough."

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was delighted with his side's display and hopes the VAR decision in their favour can act as a catalyst for a run of improved results, with Gosling's goal allowed to stand after an initial offside flag.

"We certainly needed it," he said. "It was the best we have fought and competed. We looked a real threat in the second half. Everyone gave everything.

"It is a difficult one [the VAR decision]. It happened in a flash. I don't know if they stopped. I thought it would be tight. VAR took a long time. We are delighted it bounced in our favour.

"You are in the moment so are just waiting. It was hopefully something that turns our fortunes. There were some great performances."

Frank Lampard joked he would ask Chelsea to sign Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe.

The Premier League side are able to sign players in January after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) halved their transfer ban.

While Lampard wants to have a say in Chelsea's transfer activity, he joked about signing three of the world's best attackers – Barcelona's Messi, Juventus' Ronaldo and Paris Saint-Germain's Mbappe.

"If I say I want Mbappe, Ronaldo and Messi for my front three I might get knocked back," the Chelsea head coach said.

"I wouldn't say that, but it's obviously a balance where I can put forward a recommendation and have an open conversation with the owner and hope we move forward in the right direction. I'm very open about that.

"My biggest thing here is how hard can we work on the training ground because I know we have a good squad, that's my main concern.

"Of course when it comes to recruitment I want to have a big say in it and we are very open."

Chelsea were banned from signing players during the close season, but have still made a decent start to the campaign, sitting fourth in the Premier League.

Lampard believes the performances of some of the club's younger players could lead to a change at Chelsea, who host Bournemouth on Saturday.

"I just think we all here have seen this summer, and what's happened since the summer, that the idea of going into the academy and giving these boys a chance was a really good one, because they've deserved it. And they haven't been given that so much in the past," he said.

"So I do think maybe we've changed their [the club's] minds a bit on that one."

Christian Pulisic can give "a lot more" to Chelsea than he has in his Stamford Bridge career to date, according to head coach Frank Lampard.

The United States international did not make a start in the Premier League for almost two months before an explosive performance against Burnley in October saw him score a hat-trick in a 4-2 win.

Further strikes against Watford, Ajax and Valencia followed, but Pulisic has not now registered a goal or an assist in his past four appearances.

Although Lampard has been pleased with his development, he will not let up in the demands he places on the £58million winger.

"I have just mentioned there about conversion of chances. I think he gets himself in so many good positions with his talent and his dribbling ability that I think more goals will be the next stage of that," Lampard told reporters ahead of Chelsea's meeting with Bournemouth on Saturday.

"I am really pleased with him. I have asked a lot of him. He has played a lot of games recently, back to back, in a new league that we know is very physical for him. I am asking a lot, but he has done very well. I expect a lot more."

Fikayo Tomori is one youngster to have impressed consistently for Chelsea this season, and the centre-back was rewarded with a new five-year contract on Thursday.

"He has come a long way, and that is all his own work," Lampard said. "From the moment he came to Derby County [on loan last season], he has shown a work ethic, a want and desire to listen and improve himself.

"His personality has come out even more. He was quite quiet when he first came to Derby; he is less quiet now.

"I think everybody saw his performances in the Championship last year, [he was] Derby Player of the Year. Then [there were] big question marks in the summer over whether he can do it in the Premier League.

"He certainly hasn't proved that yet over a period of time, which is the important thing. But from my point of view, I have full trust in him. I am delighted in him to where he has got to now.

"The important thing now is that he doesn't take anything for granted now that he has got that five-year contract. It is important that the hard work starts again. I am delighted with what he has done."

Lampard is similarly pleased with the progress of full-back Reece James, who has shown signs of real promise when deputising for Cesar Azpilicueta.

"I don't want to compare him to anyone. I just want to concentrate on Reece himself," Lampard said. "He's got a great role model in Azpilicueta, who has been doing it for years here in terms of how he's been playing in recent games.

"His attitude – talk about urgency and intention to get up and down the pitch and give everything and set the tone – I think it's great for Reece to see that as well alongside him every day. But Reece also brings a real quality in his delivery and in his forward play.

"There's work to do with him, he knows that, he's a young player. So, I think he's done really well on his first steps into the team. Again, like some of the other young lads, I expect a lot more from him because I can see the quality in him."

Jurgen Klopp's contract extension at Liverpool pleased his Chelsea counterpart Frank Lampard, who still hopes to "bridge the gap" to the Premier League leaders.

Klopp, who joined Liverpool in 2015, already had a contract at Anfield until 2022, but the Reds managed to secure his long-term future early with Friday's announcement of the new four-and-half-year deal.

It was a just reward for reinvigorating Liverpool, who are a genuine force again both in Europe and the Premier League, having lifted the Champions League trophy last term before dashing to the top of the domestic table this season.

After 16 matches, Liverpool have dropped just two points and are eight clear of second-placed Leicester City at the summit, with Klopp transforming the team into a winning machine with few – if any – notable weaknesses.

As Klopp and Liverpool set the standard, Lampard acknowledged Chelsea have work to do but is looking forward to continuing to take on the German.

"Liverpool are a huge rival now anyway," Lampard told reporters on Friday. "What they've done in recent years…

"Recruitment, their style of play, what Jurgen Klopp has built over a period of a few years is incredible.

"So, congratulations on the new contract. It's fully deserved, that's for sure. They will remain a huge competitor.

"I love going up against the managers of the quality and name of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola. You go through the Premier League and there's so many great managers here, so I'm pleased, I'm not disappointed.

"The challenge for us is can we bridge the gap to Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp or no Jurgen Klopp, but congrats on his new contract."

Frank Lampard has no plans to discuss the respective futures of Olivier Giroud, Willian and Pedro before January as the trio prepare to enter the final six months of their Chelsea contracts.

Having had their transfer and registration embargo ended by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), Chelsea are free to sign new players in January and look set to be active.

Many expected this season to be tough for the Blues given their inability to bring in new recruits in pre-season, but they have surpassed expectations under Lampard and are fourth after 16 matches.

Supporters' outlooks might become more ambitious following the embargo's end, with several areas of Chelsea's squad seemingly in need of reinforcements.

While that could see some of the club's more experienced campaigners shown the door, Lampard insists no such decisions will be made until next month when the transfer window reopens.

Asked if he had spoken to Giroud about his future, Lampard said: "No. All the players that are here, I won't have any talk about January until we get to January. Everybody.

"I am happy for him to stay, as with every player in the squad. I want them to be here for Chelsea, have the right professionalism and right desire to be here.

"He has shown me that in his training every day this season. That's what I am happy with."

On the subject of Willian and Pedro entering the final months of their deals, Lampard added: "It is always an issue for the club as well as myself.

"I obviously, as the manager, have full conversations upstairs. There's a money side and a playing side, so I want players who want to be here and perform well for us.

"I think they both have done that over their careers here. So, that's simple from my point of view. I want good players here."

One player heavily linked with a move to Chelsea in January is Bournemouth's Nathan Ake.

The Dutch defender joined Bournemouth - who visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday - from the Blues in 2017, but Chelsea retained a buy-back clause reportedly worth £40million in the deal.

Lampard seemed unmoved by the significance of the clause, though he acknowledged they should look to bring new players in if they can.

He added: "I don't know how clever it [the buy-back clause] is - it is what it is.

"Nathan came through here and, when he has gone to Bournemouth to be able to play regular football, I think he has done fantastically well. He has shown himself as a really good defender in the Premier League.

"In terms of the back four and with the defence I have, I am very happy. Again, it [signings] won't be anything I consider until I feel otherwise, and at the minute, we can do no business.

"I am happy with the squad, but we have to improve if we can. It is not just my business; in the modern day, since I have been in management and at most clubs, it is a joint-effort. I can put forward a lot and we will work together.

"I will recommend players that can improve us, fit with the style and the way we want to go and come in really hungry. I want people who come here wanting to win and to be a Chelsea player."

Ashley Cole hopes Arsenal appoint interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg as their permanent new boss because "he knows the club inside out".

Ljungberg was put in temporary charge following Unai Emery's sacking two weeks ago, celebrating his first win on Monday with a 3-1 triumph at West Ham.

The 42-year-old is reportedly in contention to stay on at the Emirates Stadium helm until the end of the campaign while the club continue their search for Emery's successor.

However, Cole has called on Arsenal chiefs to consider sticking with Ljungberg - whom he played alongside for seven years - for the long term, rather than looking elsewhere.

"Every club has to change. They're in another transition period at the minute where they tried Emery and for whatever reason it didn't work out," Cole, speaking on behalf of Nissan, told Omnisport.

"Now Freddie is there and hopefully he can take over as permanent manager because he knows the club inside out. Freddie was my friend when I was at Arsenal and hopefully he can change some things there."

Another of Cole's former clubs, Chelsea, are also going through a transition period after appointing club legend Frank Lampard as head coach in July.

Lampard has showed faith in young players such as Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James, who all spent time on loan in the Championship last term.

And Cole, currently working as an academy coach at Chelsea, is full of praise for the work Lampard has done so far in the early stages of his Stamford Bridge tenure.

"I'm delighted," he said. "I was lucky enough to work with him at Derby County before he came here and I knew how good he could be.

"He's obviously come here and changed a few things, brought his own philosophy here, the way he wants to play. I think the team has done brilliantly so far, so no, no surprise how good he's done.

"The youth players have been great. A lot of people were probably saying he had no choice to play them, but I think he knows if they weren't good enough he wouldn't play them.

"But they've been brilliant, they've adapted well from playing in the Championship as most of them did last season and I think they are the driving force of this team at the minute."

The emergence of young talent has come at a cost for some players, though, with captain Cesar Azpilicueta recently losing his place at right-back to James.

"I wouldn't say his time is coming to an end," Cole said when asked about Azpilicueta's future. "Tactically sometimes maybe the manager wants fresh ideas, fresh players.

"It comes with the job, you can't play every game. It happened to me: Cesar took my place. He's still the Chelsea captain.

"It's not about just what he does on the pitch, it's how he motivates the players off it and I've been around that and seen how good he is at that. 

"I don't think it will worry him. It will probably spur him on to be even better and train even harder, which is hard to do because he is a beast at training."

Nissan are proud partners of the UEFA Champions League. UEFA ambassador Ashley Cole was at the Chelsea FC v LOSC Lille match on Tuesday 10th December, along with the UEFA Champions League Trophy, which is being driven around the UK by the next generation Nissan Juke.

Frank Lampard backed Carlo Ancelotti to bounce back at the top level after Napoli sacked the experienced Italian on Tuesday.

Ancelotti was dismissed three hours after leading the club to a 4-0 victory over Genk, which confirmed their place in the Champions League knockout rounds.

Poor results in Serie A and rumours of discontent at Stadio San Paolo had placed pressure on the ex-Milan head coach for a number of weeks.

Links to the vacant posts at Everton and Arsenal have already emerged and Blues boss Lampard, who played under Ancelotti at Stamford Bridge, suggested the 60-year-old would have no trouble finding another high-profile position.

"I have huge respect for him, I am very sorry for him," Lampard said after Chelsea's win over Lille.

"I know it was a tough job for him lately. I saw his interview before the game and I thought it was a very typically classy interview in what seemed a very tough time for him. He always handles himself brilliantly.

"I think he can work anywhere in the world at the top level, of course."

Ancelotti is a three-time Champions League winner as a coach and boasts league titles in Italy, Germany, France and England, but his most recent jobs have produced mixed results.

He spent just over 18 months in charge of Napoli and leaves with the club sitting seventh in Serie A.

Former Partenopei player Jorginho said: "I didn't know about it. I'm really sorry. I never met him but I heard a lot of good things about him from my former team-mates.

"They told me he is a great man and manager. I'm sorry for everything that is happening in Napoli. It's a difficult moment for them.

"I hope that they will be back at the top as they were for years until this bad moment. I'm really surprised. I was not expecting Napoli [to have] trouble and I'm sorry, because I'll always love Napoli."

Napoli are expected to name Gennaro Gattuso as Ancelotti's replacement.

Frank Lampard has indicated Chelsea will look to sign at least one new attacker in January after having their transfer ban halved.

An appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport brought an early end to the original two-window embargo last week, enabling the Blues to become active participants in the transfer market.

An inexperienced squad reached the Champions League last 16 with Tuesday's 2-1 home win over Lille and could now be reinforced.

Chelsea scored 11 times in their six Group H games and have notched a further 31 goals in the Premier League, but head coach Lampard outlined plans to seek a replacement for Eden Hazard.

"I think it will be a bit fluid," Lampard told BT Sport after beating Lille at Stamford Bridge.

"There will be discussions that go on from now about where we can strengthen, because of course with Eden leaving we lost a lot of goals, a lot of creation in his particular position.

"What I'm talking about today is that we missed some chances and I think we can probably look at strengthening and pushing and getting maybe more competition in those areas."

First-half goals from Tammy Abraham and Cesar Azpilicueta confirmed the club's progression in Europe, although the result was made narrower than it should have been by Loic Remy's belated response in the 78th minute.

The Blues, who finished second in the group behind Valencia, would have slipped into the Europa League had Lille pinched a late equaliser.

Lampard said: "With the youth, we understand those bumps in the road will come, whether individually or collectively.

"I push them a lot, I'm quite tough with them, and I want them to work and improve. But at the same time, you do have to be a bit patient. That's where the balance of the team and the squad is important – the older, more experienced players do help them.

"We have got a good balance but I think today was a strong sign of how much work we have to do. It should have been a game that was finished much earlier.

"It's been a little bit the story of our season at times and that's the biggest thing, for me, we need to improve."

Chelsea moved through to the Champions League knockout stage with a 2-1 win over a largely compliant Lille side at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

Tammy Abraham and Cesar Azpilicueta scored first-half goals as Frank Lampard's men bounced back from their weekend defeat to Everton by sewing up second spot in Group H.

The hosts knew three points would confirm their place in the last 16 and encountered little resistance until former Chelsea forward Loic Remy netted a 78th-minute consolation for the bottom-placed French side.

Valencia's victory over Ajax in Amsterdam denied Chelsea top spot, but Lampard will be satisfied after becoming the first Englishman to oversee the entirety of a successful group-stage campaign since Harry Redknapp, his uncle, did so with Tottenham in 2010-11.

Chelsea almost scored three times, with Christian Pulisic and Emerson Palmieri threatening, before Abraham notched his second European goal in the 19th minute.

Willian darted past Lille left-back Jeremy Pied and squared for the unmarked striker to apply a simple finish.

The lively Emerson tested Mike Maignan a second time and then supplied the corner that Azpilicueta headed home 10 minutes before half-time.

Maignan needed attention following a collision with Kurt Zouma but his good form continued with a double save from Pulisic and Willian upon the resumption.

The 24-year-old goalkeeper was eventually forced from the field with an ice pack applied to his knee in the 72nd minute.

Leo Jardim, Maignan's replacement, saved from Mateo Kovacic, and it was at the other end that the next goal arrived, Remy firing in after substitute Jonathan Bamba found space in the box.

It proved a minor hiccup for Chelsea, who held their nerve en route to a first Champions League home win in six matches.
 

What does it mean? Blues a threat to Champions League challengers

Chelsea will find it tougher against more qualified opponents in the next round but the team that draws them are unlikely to relish the challenge.

Willian, Abraham and Pulisic can be a real handful going forward, while Antonio Rudiger's return from a lengthy groin injury brought stability at the back.

Creative Willian leads way for Chelsea

No player has more assists in European competitions since the start of last season than Willian, who registered an eighth when he set up Abraham and was deserving of a goal himself.

Maia goes missing for Lille

Lille lost the battle in midfield, giving up almost 65 per cent of possession, and got little help from Thiago Maia, an ineffectual figure as he lost each of his six duels and completed just six passes in over an hour on the pitch.

What's next?

Chelsea will discover their last-16 opponents when the draw takes place in Nyon on Monday.

Before then comes Saturday's Premier League home game against Bournemouth, while Lille must regroup ahead of their Ligue 1 meeting with Montpellier.

Frank Lampard believes Tuesday's Champions League clash with Lille will be a defining moment for Chelsea's youngsters.

Chelsea can book a place in the last 16 of the competition with victory at Stamford Bridge, while a draw will be enough if Valencia lose to Ajax in the other Group H fixture.

The Blues' only two European wins this term have come on their travels, but Lampard hopes the make-or-break nature of the Lille match can bring the best out of his players.

Asked if games like Tuesday's can shape the younger members of his squad, Lampard told reporters: "Yeah, they are crucial for the players. I was fortunate to have big moments like this for the club.

"I like that this is a knockout, we are going to be at our best. It is a big game, almost like a knockout game.

"We have wanted more in our home games. When you score early in the game it changes the face of the game. When you play well but don't score you add the pressure yourselves."

Chelsea lost 3-1 to lowly Everton in the Premier League on Saturday and have won just one of their past five matches in all competitions.

However, Lampard is not concerned by his side's form and is glad to have a chance to make an instant response against Lille.

"It was always going to come," he said at Monday's pre-match news conference. "The way we are, the nature of the Premier League. It was never going to be plain sailing. This is a test.

"It's a tight turnaround, but that is the nature of the season. There is work you can do and working out there. I am pleased we're playing."

Chelsea have been boosted by the return of Antonio Rudiger to their squad for Tuesday's match, though Fikayo Tomori and Olivier Giroud will not be involved.

Rudiger has featured only once this term - in the 5-2 league win over Wolves on September 14 - and Lampard acknowledged his side have missed the German centre-back.

"He is in the squad. It is good to have him back," Lampard added. "We have given him a lot of work. He has come through that and he looks fit and ready to go.

"I know he is hungry. He is a good defender, you miss those individuals. And then see what he can bring for us."

 

Frank Lampard said there would be "home truths" at Chelsea after two losses in a week.

Chelsea suffered losses to West Ham (1-0) and Everton (3-1) either side of their victory at home to Aston Villa.

They remain in the top four in the Premier League, sitting five points clear of Manchester United and Wolves, while Tottenham are a point further adrift.

But head coach Lampard is eager for Chelsea to learn from their defeats to teams sitting in the bottom half.

"There are home truths all the time, whatever game you play. The players need to consistently hear that," he told reporters, via Football.London.

"We have got a good bunch and good group in there. In the Premier League, the competitive nature of it there are going to be times where you have difficult patches or you lose games.

"It is certainly not the end of the world, but it is important that we take on board the lessons of games like [Everton] and West Ham. We have had a week where we were poor, fantastic and poor again. That lack of consistency is not going to get us where we want to be.

"They have to get used to it quickly. You can give them a tiny bit of room maybe for the fact of the youth of some of the team, but at the same time they might be young but they are not silly."

Chelsea host Lille in the Champions League on Tuesday looking to reach the knockout stage.

Frank Lampard is not yet thinking about freshening up his squad in January despite a chastening 3-1 defeat at Everton on Saturday.

Everton were led by caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson for the first time, with the Scot taking the reins from Marco Silva following his dismissal two days ago.

The former Everton striker inspired the Toffees to get back to winning ways, with Richarlison opening the scoring and Dominic Calvert-Lewin getting a brace either side of Mateo Kovacic's strike.

Chelsea's performance, particularly defensively, laid bare some of the issues in their squad, with centre-backs Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen particularly poor.

But, following Chelsea's transfer ban coming to an end on Friday after a successful appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against apparent breaches, Lampard does not feel purchases are needed yet, even though the Blues have lost three of their past four in the Premier League.

"Not yet," Lampard told reporters when asked if he now thinks a January refresh is required.

"Work [is required]," he continued. "We had it nice, we were winning games. This is the Premier League. We went to [Manchester] City, played pretty well, lost the game.

"But then the two games since then are signs of where we need to get better. We have played two teams who have been having a tough time and we have allowed the games to go away from us for different reasons and they will be big lessons for us."

Defeat means Chelsea could finish the weekend just three points ahead of fifth-placed Wolves, if they beat Brighton and Hove Albion away on Sunday.

Everton caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson reiterated that he is not planning to put himself in contention for the permanent position despite a 3-1 win over Chelsea on Saturday.

Ferguson, a popular former Everton player, was placed in temporary charge of the team following Marco Silva's dismissal in the wake of their 5-2 midweek Merseyside derby defeat against Liverpool.

The Scot made an impressive impact, with Everton sharper and snappier than they had been under Silva - evidenced by their 37 tackles, more than any other team in a Premier League match this season.

Richarlison got the opening goal in the fifth minute, before Dominic Calvert-Lewin netted either side of Mateo Kovacic's first league strike for Chelsea.

But Ferguson remains realistic about his status, adamant he will not be putting forward his case to club decision-makers despite lifting Everton out of the bottom three.

When asked if he would be sending a message to majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri and director of football Marcel Brands staking his claim for the job, Ferguson told BT Sport: "No, honestly, I won't be saying that. That's not what I'm saying.

"I'm here for Everton, I'm here for as long as they want me here, and I'm sure they [the club's hierarchy] are out there looking for their candidates, and rightly so.

"We want the best guys in the world managing this football club, but this was an incredible experience for me, an unbelievable experience I'll never forget.

"I'm just looking to get home and lie down, I think. We're not looking ahead - I was just looking at this game and that is it, we're savouring the moment. It's three fantastic points.

"I think you saw on the touchline how enthusiastic I was, but you know it's one game, one result. I think I've answered the question [about going for the position]."

Frank Lampard, Ferguson's opposite number on Saturday, was left fuming with Chelsea's defensive frailties, convinced all three "terrible" goals were gifts.

"We always knew they were going to have a go and they've got good players, they're just in a slightly false position for whatever reason," he said.

"I'm more worried about us. It wasn't good enough from us, conceding three terrible goals from our point of view.

"We know Richarlison is good in the air on crosses and the last thing you want is to go one down early here, then they can be organised and make things very difficult for you.

"We got in their box so many times and [were] not getting shots away, trying to walk it in at times, so [there were] lots of things I wasn't happy with."

Chelsea can press on with their January plans after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) halved their transfer ban on Friday.

The Blues were barred by FIFA from registering new players for two successive windows in February, having been found guilty of breaching rules relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.

However, CAS has reduced that ban to one window, which the Blues have already served, giving Frank Lampard the green light to make fresh acquisitions next month.

We take a look at who could be arriving at Stamford Bridge during the mid-season market.

 

BEN CHILWELL

Left-back would seem the obvious place to start for Lampard.

Club captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Emerson Palmieri have been deployed there this season, but the latter has been linked with a move to Juventus.

With Marcos Alonso out of favour and Azpilicueta now 30, Chelsea might want a younger option in line with the parts of their first team now thriving.

Leicester City's Chilwell, 22, fits the bill, although he would not come cheap. Valencia's Jose Gaya is another mooted target who would likely command a smaller fee.

JADON SANCHO

Willian and Pedro are both out of contract at the end of the season and they appear destined to depart.

Teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi will be expected to have a bigger role and Christian Pulisic has impressed in recent weeks, but Lampard would welcome more attacking firepower.

Borussia Dortmund winger Sancho's time in Germany seems close to ending and the Londoner might relish a return to the capital.

However, if Sancho is to depart over the next two windows, Chelsea will be in a long line of interested suitors.

WILFRIED ZAHA

A move away from Crystal Palace failed to materialise in the close-season window for Zaha.

The former Manchester United winger is undoubtedly talented and proven in the Premier League.

However, Zaha's situation is complicated by the fact he signed a five-year contract in 2018.

Arsenal and Everton were reportedly keen a few months before the demises of Unai Emery and Marco Silva, but Chelsea represent a more attractive option.

NATHAN AKE

Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma have been Lampard's preferred central-defensive partners, though the Blues have kept just three Premier League clean sheets in 2019-20.

Germany international Antonio Rudiger is due back soon but it is a former Blues defender who may be of interest in January.

It is believed Chelsea included a £40million buy-back clause in Ake's deal when he was sold to Bournemouth in 2017.

As was the case with Nemanja Matic, Ake has developed considerably during his time away from Stamford Bridge and could prove a relative bargain at his buy-back price.

MOUSSA DEMBELE

With 11 goals in 14 Premier League games, Tammy Abraham has shown he is capable of leading the line.

However, there are limited options behind him and they will be depleted further if Olivier Giroud, 33, leaves as expected.

Lyon striker Dembele, once of Fulham and Celtic, is thought to be of interest to the Blues.

The joint-top scorer in Ligue 1, Dembele is having a fine season. But would he be happy playing second fiddle to Abraham?

Chelsea have hit out at FIFA for treating them "entirely differently to Manchester City" over transfer breaches after the London club had their registration ban halved by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The Premier League side were banned from registering new players for two successive transfer windows by FIFA in February, a punishment handed down for breaching rules related to acquiring and registering players under the age of 18.

An appeal to FIFA had been partially upheld, allowing them to sign players 16 or younger, but Friday's announcement means they will now be able to buy reinforcements for their senior team in January.

Chelsea have since taken the opportunity to lambast FIFA's treatment of them, convinced they were dealt a crueller hand than Manchester City, who avoided a transfer ban in August despite the world's governing body finding them to have breached rules on under-18 signings.

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