Edinson Cavani and Layvin Kurzawa will not feature against Lille on Sunday, with their respective Paris Saint-Germain futures uncertain.

Cavani has been persistently linked with a move away from Parc des Princes this month, with the 32-year-old – who has been injured for some of January – having fallen down the pecking order this season.

The Uruguay striker has handed in a transfer request, while PSG's sporting director Leonardo confirmed a bid from Atletico Madrid has been rejected.

Full-back Kurzawa, meanwhile, who is out of contract at the end of the season, is reportedly of interest to Premier League side Arsenal.

Tuchel confirmed that, although both players are fit, neither will be available for Sunday's trip to Lille.

"It is not decided yet. There are things between clubs and Kurzawa, but he is our player. We know that things are not clear yet, the situation is not clear," Tuchel told a news conference.

"This is why he is not part of the group for Sunday, in order to manage the situation. We will see. It is the same with Edinson. He trained with us for a few days, no problems, but the situation is unclear and that is why he will not be available.

"It was the best decision. The situation with Kurzawa, it was very recent, a short amount of time, so I think it was useful for him to think and find a solution, and the we will keep going. 

"For Cavani, it has been going for a few weeks, but he trained, he is not injured anymore. But still, we decided that he wasn't available because the situation is unclear. Things might happen during the transfer window."

While Tuchel insisted PSG's focus remains on the Ligue 1 and Coupe de France matches the French champions have coming up, he was pressed for his thoughts on the dealings of his former club Borussia Dortmund.

The Bundesliga side, who are PSG's opponents in the Champions League last 16, have brought in Erling Haaland – who has scored five goals in his first two appearances, both from the bench – while they have also been linked with Juventus midfielder Emre Can.

"I think they will not stop. They will buy one or two other players," Tuchel said of Dortmund.

"So, it will be a very tough game against Dortmund, but it is like that. I think [the media] are the only ones always thinking about Dortmund.

"I didn't talk to my staff or players about Dortmund. I am always only talking about Dortmund during the media conference, but we do not speak about Dortmund in the squad."

Manchester United have lined up another exciting midfield transfer target amid their ongoing pursuit of Bruno Fernandes.

As the wrangling over figures with Sporting CP continues, the Red Devils have reportedly submitted a sizeable offer to Birmingham City for teenage talent Jude Bellingham.

But making the first move might only spark a European bidding war.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED SUBMIT BELLINGHAM BID

Birmingham youngster Bellingham's clear potential has convinced United to launch an offer worth more than £30million, reports the Sun and Sky Sports.

The 16-year-old midfielder has burst onto the scene this season and the Old Trafford outfit are understood to be keen to test him in the Premier League.

However, they could face stiff competition from Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool and other heavyweight clubs across the continent.

The Mirror, meanwhile, claims United have made a "breakthrough" in negotiations for Portugal international Fernandes, having reached a "compromise" transfer fee in the region of £55m.

 

ROUND-UP

- David Beckham's Inter Miami have contacted Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero to assess his interest in a switch to MLS, adds the Sun.

- Tottenham have enquired about Real Madrid winger and former Spurs star Gareth Bale, according to Spanish television programme El Chiringuito.

- Barcelona, still searching for a new striker, have ruled out RB Leipzig's Timo Werner and Lille's Victor Osimhen, suggests Mundo Deportivo, with Valencia's Rodrigo Moreno a more likely target.

- Serie A side Roma are set to discuss personal terms with Matteo Politano after agreeing a €25million fee with Inter, according to Sky Sport Italia.

- Inter, meanwhile, are said to be in discussions with United youngster Tahith Chong, who is also on Chinese outfit Jiangsu Suning's radar as his contract runs close to expiring, says Sky Sport Italia.

- Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali is interesting Premier League champions City and Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain, reports SportMediaset.

Lyon are into the Coupe de la Ligue final thanks to a 4-3 penalty shoot-out win over Lille after a 2-2 draw, which Loic Remy had secured with a controversial late spot-kick.

Rudi Garcia's Lyon appeared to have rescued victory through Houssem Aouar's wonderful goal in the 85th minute, only for Remy's contentious kick to take the game to penalties, but the home side did eventually prevail thanks to Ciprian Tatarusanu making one save and Renato Sanches missing the target.

Portugal international Sanches had put Lille in front early on with a clinical finish from distance, though Lyon did not trail for long, as Moussa Dembele converted a penalty to level the score in a first half that was otherwise devoid of excitement.

The second half was not much better either until the latter stages, when Aouar netted in style before Remy levelled amid controversy to take the game to a shoot-out.

But Tatarusanu saved from Jonathan Bamba with the first kick, and Sanches shot wide to ultimately end Lille's chances of reaching the final to face either Reims or Paris Saint-Germain.

 

Manchester United are no closer to concluding their long-running search for a director of football.

Rumours emerged over the weekend indicating the Red Devils were closing in on Lille's Luis Campos, famed for spotting the likes of Kylian Mbappe during his time at Monaco.

But fresh reports in France suggest United will be left frustrated in any bid to lure the Portuguese to Old Trafford.

 

UNITED TARGET NOT INTERESTED IN LEAVING LILLE

Claims that United have commenced negotiations with 55-year-old Campos are wide of the mark, reports Le 10 Sport.

There has apparently been no contact between the parties and, in any case, the former Real Madrid scout is said to have no plans to leave Lille.

United's 2-0 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday and the loss of Marcus Rashford has exacerbated the need for signings, an area in which Campos was expected to assist.

Campos previously had a long career as a head coach in his native Portugal, where he led Gil Vicente and Beira-Mar among others.

ROUND-UP

- Paris Saint-Germain are in preliminary talks with Neymar's representatives about a contract extension, according to French broadcaster TF1, although the Brazilian would prefer to delay concrete discussions.

- Krzysztof Piatek's proposed switch to Tottenham has stalled over Milan's £30million asking price, claims the Daily Mail.

- Spurs could turn their attention to Leicester City flop Islam Slimani, according to the Telegraph. The 31-year-old is out on loan at Monaco, where he has scored seven goals in 13 Ligue 1 games.

- Inter forward Matteo Politano favours a return to Serie A rivals Roma but may be given the option of leaving San Siro for Sevilla, says Corriere dello Sport.

- LaLiga side Espanyol hope to sign Reinier on loan once the Brazilian teenager's move to Real Madrid goes through, reports Spanish newspaper SPORT.

Manchester United will reportedly need to improve their offer to Sporting CP if they are to land Bruno Fernandes.

Fernandes, 25, is linked with a January move to Old Trafford, but it seems talks are ongoing between the clubs.

The Premier League outfit will need to raise their offer to land Fernandes, with some distance seemingly still between the sides.

 

TOP STORY – SPORTING WANT €65M FROM MAN UTD FOR FERNANDES

Sporting want £55.4million (€65m) from Manchester United for Fernandes, according to TVI 24.

The report says United are offering £42.6m (€50m) plus bonuses for the midfielder.

With Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba injured, United are desperate to strengthen in midfield this month.

 

ROUND-UP

- Christian Eriksen could be nearing a move to Inter. The Tottenham midfielder's agent Martin Schoots had dinner with Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta on Thursday, according to CalcioMercato.

- Tottenham must continue their search if they are to replace the injured Harry Kane this month. The Sun reports a possible move from Milan to Spurs for Krzysztof Piatek appears over and Tottenham are now looking at Porto forward Ze Luis or Napoli's Fernando Llorente, who left the club at the end of last season.

- Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare is deciding between Manchester United and Chelsea, according to Sky Sports, although no move is expected until after the Ligue 1 club face Paris Saint-Germain on January 26.

- Staying at Old Trafford and Manchester United will be offered Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani for free at season's end, according to the Manchester Evening News.

- West Ham's bid to sign Ross Barkley is not over yet. The Mirror reports the club will not give up on trying to land the Chelsea midfielder, who has made just seven Premier League appearances this season.

- Arda Turan remains contracted to Barcelona, but the midfielder knows where he wants to go next. The Turkey international is interested in signing with Boca Juniors, according to Sport, after terminating his loan agreement with Istanbul Basaksehir earlier this month.

With Manchester City's Premier League title defence in tatters and a mounting injury list in defence, Pep Guardiola's side need reinforcements.

Aymeric Laporte and John Stones have been struck down by injuries this season, leaving City with limited options in defence.

As Liverpool run away with the title, City are eyeing an Inter star to rebuild their central defence.

 

TOP STORY – CITY TARGETING SKRINIAR

Manchester City have set their sights on Inter centre-back Milan Skriniar, according to The Mirror.

Premier League champions City have struggled with injuries in defence this season as rivals Liverpool charge towards the title.

City are reportedly ready to buy in January and Skriniar – also a target for LaLiga champions Barcelona and Real Madrid – is on the list.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Athletic says MLS outfit DC United want to sign Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric after Wayne Rooney's exit.

Juventus are "still hopeful" of signing Paris Saint-Germain loanee Mauro Icardi, reports Calciomercato. Icardi left Inter for PSG at the start of the season, having been linked to Juve and Napoli.

- Sky Sports claims Manchester United are interested in Leicester City star James Maddison, but are aware a January transfer will be difficult. Sky Sports also says the Red Devils are chasing Lille's Boubakary Soumare, along with Arsenal, Chelsea, Madrid and Valencia.

Mario Gotze will leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season, according to Bild. Gotze's contract is set to expire and he has been unable to agree a new deal.

- TZ says Bayern Munich are interested in Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo, with the Bundesliga champions distancing themselves from RB Leipzig's Lukas Klostermann.

Real Madrid are said to be close to signing yet another rising Brazilian star.

Zinedine Zidane's side have reportedly agreed a fee for Flamengo's Reinier, who could move to Spain this month.

Chelsea, meanwhile, may have to wait until after the season has finished until their top targets become available.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID TO SIGN REINIER FOR €30M

According to widespread reports, Real Madrid are close to finalising a deal to sign Flamengo's Reinier.

The 17-year-old could move to the Spanish capital in January and spend the rest of the season with Raul's Castilla team.

Reinier, who turns 18 on January 19 and will therefore become an easier deal to complete, will apparently cost €30m plus potential add-ons.

ROUND-UP

 - Chelsea want to sign Jadon Sancho and Timo Werner, but the Premier League club know they are likely to have to wait until the end of the season to complete the deals, according to Goal.

- Elsewhere in London, Sky Sports say West Ham have held talks with Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes, a reported target for Manchester United. David Moyes said of the club's interest: "He is a name mentioned alongside many."

Inter are the latest team to be interested in Christian Eriksen, say Tuttomercatoweb. Directors Giuseppe Marotta and Piero Ausilio want to close the deal quickly but Tottenham's £30m asking price is a problem.

Nikola Kalinic has been offered to Newcastle United as he has struggled for football since joining Roma on loan from Atletico Madrid, say Marca.

- Still with Marca, Real Madrid have apparently earmarked three Lille players as potential signings for 2020: Boubakary Soumare, Victor Osimhen and Gabriel.

- Sky Sports claim Jan Vertonghen is now more likely to join Napoli from Tottenham this month, as Ajax have apparently cooled their interest in their former defender.

- David Beckham's Inter Miami are set to appoint a new coach in the form of Anthony Pulis, the son of ex-Stoke City boss Tony. Pulis will work as assistant to Diego Alonso, say The Telegraph.

Mikel Arteta looks to be on his way out of Manchester City, and it may not be long before he is followed by Pep Guardiola.

That is if reports linking Paris Saint-Germain with a move for the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich head coach are to be believed.

Meanwhile, Arteta is not the only big managerial appointment expected imminently in the Premier League, with Carlo Ancelotti close to being confirmed as Everton boss, and reports suggest a big-name could be in line to follow the Italian to Goodison Park.

 

TOP STORY – GUARDIOLA LINED UP BY PSG

According to Le10 Sport, Paris Saint-Germain will look to swap Thomas Tuchel with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola next season.

Guardiola is currently under contract with City until 2021, though has said he is open to extending his deal. However, these reports claim PSG will aim to bring in the Spaniard, along with former Barca star Xavi, who will act as his number two.

While City are 14 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool, PSG are top of Ligue 1 and will face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last 16.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Sun claims Mauricio Pochettino is holding off on making any commitment to Real Madrid as he waits to see how Guardiola's situation at Manchester City plays out.

- According to The Telegraph, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is open to linking up with former boss Carlo Ancelotti at Everton. Ancelotti is reportedly set to be appointed by the Toffees and Ibrahimovic – who has been linked to Milan and Napoli – could follow him to Merseyside.

Mesut Ozil is close to securing a loan move from Arsenal to Fenerbahce in January, according to Turkish newspaper Fotomac.

- Madrid winger Vinicius Jr. has been linked with a move to the Premier League. El Desmarque reports Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham and Wolves are all interested in the Brazilian.

- Another potential outgoing from Arsenal could be Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with The Mirror saying one of Arteta's first tasks will be to convince the Gunners' captain to stay put.

- Sky Sports reports Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs are all monitoring Lille forward Victor Osimhen, who has scored nine Ligue 1 goals this term.

- Inter great Dejan Stankovic is poised to become head coach of Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade. After Vladan Milojevic stepped down on Thursday, reports in Serbia claim the former Red Star midfielder will be unveiled on Friday. This is set to be Stankovic's first senior job.

Tottenham are considering a January move for Leicester City full-back Ricardo Pereira, says Het Nieuwsblad.

Paris Saint-Germain will face Saint-Etienne in the quarter-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue.

Pablo Sarabia, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria were on target as a much-changed PSG line-up secured a 4-1 victory over Le Mans in the last 16 on Wednesday.

Thomas Tuchel's side were eliminated by Guingamp in the quarter-finals last season and will hope to go one step further when they entertain Saint-Etienne.

Reigning champions Strasbourg were handed a trip to Reims after Nuno Da Costa's 78th-minute goal clinched a 1-0 victory over Nantes.

Lyon beat Toulouse 4-1 in the absence of Memphis Depay and will take on Brest at Groupama Stadium, while Lille's reward for overcoming Monaco is a home encounter with Amiens.

The matches are scheduled to be played on January 7 or 8.

Lille midfield playmaker Renato Sanches claims he almost moved to the club's Ligue 1 rivals Paris Saint-Germain in 2018.

The Portugal international joined Lille from Bayern Munich for a club-record €25million in August.

However, the 22-year-old revealed he would have been playing in France sooner had Bayern been prepared to sell him to PSG the previous year.

"It is true that I had a serious offer from PSG," Sanches told Telefoot.

"But my club and my former coach Niko Kovac did not want let me go."

 

Sanches, who signed a four-year contract with Lille, scored his first goal for the club in their 2-1 win over Montpellier in Ligue 1 last Friday.

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.

Champions League holders Liverpool need at least a point against Salzburg to secure their progression from Group E, though they will come up against an Erling Haaland in sensational form.

Salzburg's youngster has found the net in all of their group games so far this season and will become the first player to convert in his first six Champions League appearances should he score for Salzburg against the Reds.

Barcelona have top spot in Group F secured but Inter still have it all to play for on Tuesday as they look to edge out Borussia Dortmund, and Antonio Conte's side have no Lionel Messi to worry about, with Ernesto Valverde resting Barca's talisman.

Chelsea will look to end a five-match winless run at home in the Champions League to ensure their place in the last 16, while Dortmund are aiming to reach the second round in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2015.

Salzburg v Liverpool 

8 - Salzburg's Haaland has scored eight goals from five appearances in this season's Champions League. No player has ever scored in their first six matches in the competition.

11 - Since the start of the 2017-18 campaign, the two players with the most Champions League assists are Liverpool duo Roberto Firmino and James Milner, with 11 each.

16 - Only Tottenham (17) and Bayern Munich (21) have scored more goals than Salzburg's 16 in this season's competition.

2 - Liverpool have only won two of their 11 most recent Champions League away group stage games, losing four of the past five. The Reds last won consecutive group matches on the road in the competition back in September 2008.

Napoli v Genk

6 - Carlo Ancelotti appears to be under pressure at Napoli, though his side are unbeaten in their past six home matches in the Champions League.

14 - Dries Mertens, who wears number 14 for Napoli, has been involved in 14 goals in his past 14 Champions League starts, scoring 10 times and providing four assists.

Inter v Barcelona

0 - Inter have never lost a home game against Spanish teams in the Champions League or European Cup.

5 - Lautaro Martinez is aiming to become the first Inter player to score in five successive Champions League/European Cup appearances.

0 - Barca have failed to score in two Champions League matches this season. Never before in the competition have they fired blanks in three group games in a single campaign.

Borussia Dortmund v Slavia Prague

13 - Dortmund are unbeaten in 13 of their past 15 Champions League group stage matches at Signal Iduna Park, winning eight times.

3 - Julian Brandt already has three assists for Dortmund in Group F. The playmaker failed to assist a single Champions League goal for Bayer Leverkusen in 21 appearances between 2014 and 2017.

22 - Slavia have failed to score with each of their 22 most recent shots from open play in the Champions League, with their goal in a 3-1 defeat to Inter on matchday coming via a penalty by Tomas Soucek.

Benfica v Zenit

1 - Victory for Zenit would see the Russian side reach the knockout stages in successive appearances in the Champions League for the first time.

29 - Both teams have scored 29 per cent of their Champions League goals from outside of the box so far this season.

Lyon v RB Leipzig

88 - Leipzig have scored 88 per cent of their Champions League goals this season in the second half of matches, while their only goal in the first half came in added time against Zenit.

80 - Dayot Upamecano has made 80 progressive ball carries upfield this season in the UEFA Champions League - more than any other player.

Chelsea v Lille

5 - Chelsea are winless in their past five Champions League games at Stamford Bridge. It is their longest run without a home win in the competition.

10 - Willian has netted 10 goals for Chelsea in the tournament. If he scores against Lille, it would make him their outright fourth-highest scorer in the competition, behind Didier Drogba (36), current coach Frank Lampard (23) and Nicolas Anelka (12).

1 - Lille have taken just one point in the Champions League this season. Under the current group stage format, the only French side with fewer in a single campaign in the competition was Marseille in 2013-14 (0).

Ajax v Valencia

9 - Since the start of last season, only three teams have managed more wins in the Champions League than Ajax, who have nine victories under their belts in that time.

52 - Excluding own goals, Hakim Ziyech has either scored or assisted 52 per cent of Ajax's goals in the Champions League in 2019.

143 - Quincy Promes averages a goal every 143 minutes in the Champions League, placing him behind only Ruud van Nistelrooy (109) in terms of Dutch players in the competition.

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."

 

Ajax and Morocco favourite Hakim Ziyech does not believe the arm injury he sustained during the closing stages of Wednesday's 2-0 win over Lille is serious.

Erik ten Hag's side moved to the top of Champions League Group H with a match to play after a superb display at Stade Pierre-Mauroy, where Ziyech crowned a brilliant team move to open the scoring inside two minutes.

He turned provider with an inch-perfect cross to set up Quincy Promes after half-time and also had a goal disallowed for handball after a VAR review.

That incident appeared to discomfort Ziyech before he made way in the 85th minute, but the 26-year-old offered an upbeat assessment when he spoke to Veronica TV after the match.

"My arm is still sore and is difficult to lift it up. I'll just have to see how it goes," he said.

"I banged it into the defender, and I also got the ball smashed into it, but it should be okay."

On Ajax's performance, Ziyech added: "What a great start, because our first attack resulted in a goal. But after that we got a bit sloppy.

"They were playing a long-ball game, and their centre forward was causing us some problems.

"But they only had a couple of big chances and otherwise we controlled the game. We definitely deserved to win.

"I know where Quincy is going, and I try to put in crosses that are impossible to defend against. And his finish was also fantastic.

"We know each other so well. We don't even need to talk to each other on the pitch. We'll go out to win the final game, that's why we play football."

Qualification is now firmly in Ajax's hands when they host Valencia next month, the Eredivisie leaders boasting 10 points to the LaLiga outfit's eight.

Los Che battled to a thrilling 2-2 draw against Chelsea - who are also on eight points and next face a Lille side with only pride to play for.

"Unfortunately we didn't score when we were on top," said Lille head coach Christophe Galtier, who saw Jonathan Bamba and Jonathan Ikone miss glorious chances either side of half-time.   

"In all five games, we've lacked a clinical streak and in this beautiful but cruel competition we were punished for it."

Those openings were noted as a cause for concern by Ajax boss Ten Hag.

"We defended rather well but we gave them too many chances by allowing them too much space in which to play," he said, as quoted by UEFA.com.

"It's something we still need to work on. Otherwise, it was a fully deserved win. We scored two great goals and could have had more.

"The win reflects our domination, even though our opponents had opportunities, which is normal at this level. We were almost perfect tactically."

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