Real Madrid and Liverpool reportedly lead the race for Kylian Mbappe if the France star decides to leave Paris Saint-Germain.

Mbappe, 21, is contracted at PSG until 2022, making his future a talking point heading into next year.

It seems the France international's future lies at one of three clubs.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID, LIVERPOOL LEAD RACE FOR MBAPPE

Mbappe's future will be decided next year and the forward will be at PSG, Real Madrid or Liverpool, according to L'Equipe.

The World Cup winner has been heavily linked with Zinedine Zidane's Madrid previously, while Jurgen Klopp's Premier League champions have also reportedly been interested in the past.

The report says Liverpool and Madrid are in regular contact with Mbappe.

 

ROUND-UP

- Luis Suarez is set for a Barcelona exit, but the forward's next club remains unclear. Sport reports Suarez has an agreement with Atletico Madrid, apparently for two seasons, but Barca are said to be intending to block him joining a direct rival for free.

- Manchester United could strengthen as soon as this week. The Guardian reports Porto left-back Alex Telles hopes to seal a move to United this week and it says the Premier League club are hoping to get the 27-year-old's price down to £23mllion (€25m).

- With Kepa Arrizabalaga again coming under fire, Chelsea are set to welcome a new goalkeeper. RMC Sport reports the Premier League club have finalised a deal worth £22million (€24m), plus £5.5m (€6m) in bonuses, with Rennes for Edouard Mendy.

- Staying at Chelsea and N'Golo Kante is reportedly wanted by Inter. Corriere dello Sport reports Inter coach Antonio Conte wants the midfielder, but a €50million (£45.9m) asking price is unthinkable for the Serie A club unless Christian Eriksen or Marcelo Brozovic are sold.

- There could also be movement at Real Madrid. EFE reports Luka Jovic is pushing for a return to Eintracht Frankfurt on loan after struggling in his first season with the LaLiga giants. Meanwhile, Marca says former Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani has been offered to Madrid.

- While Suarez may arrive, Atletico Madrid are also considering their transfer options. AS reports they are waiting for offers for Diego Costa, while Marca says the LaLiga club need to see a player leave before potentially signing Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira.

Jadon Sancho has been tipped to swap Borussia Dortmund for Manchester United.

But the England international remains in Germany and United are growing frustrated.

Could United move on from the Dortmund sensation?

 

TOP STORY – UNITED READY TO PULL PLUG ON SANCHO

Manchester United are ready to give up on signing Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to the Daily Star.

Sancho has emerged as United's top transfer target, but the Premier League giants have been unable to negotiate a deal with Dortmund.

With United and Dortmund apart in their valuation of Sancho, the Red Devils are frustrated and could turn to alternative targets.

Juventus attacker Douglas Costa, Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix and Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale are possible options.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca claims Barcelona are contemplating a loan move for Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin, who left Camp Nou for the Gunners in 2011. Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked, while Barca will only target the Spaniard if they are able to part with Nelson Semedo.

- Staying at Camp Nou and Barca are targeting Sevilla's star centre-back Jules Kounde. The front page of Saturday's Mundo Deportivo says Barca could wait 12 months to secure a deal. Mundo Deportivo also reports Emerson could be included in a deal to prise Lyon captain Memphis Depay to the embattled LaLiga giants.

Tottenham have had an offer for Torino striker Andrea Belotti rejected, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. Spurs proposed a loan deal with an option to buy the Italy international for €50million (£46m). Di Marzio also claims Tottenham will not be signing Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik, who has been linked to Roma and Juventus.

Chelsea are ready to loan out winger Calum Hudson-Odoi, says 90Min. The Englishman has previously been linked to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

- Remaining at Stamford Bridge and Fabrizio Romano reports Chelsea will consider a move for West Ham's Declan Rice after having a bid accepted for Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

Inter are ready to sell defender Milan Skriniar as they eye Hellas Verona's Marash Kumbulla, according to Calciomercato. It comes as Nerazzurri boss Antonio Conte tries to sign Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante and full-back Marcos Alonso.

Manchester United fans have been waiting for a new face to arrive and their patience is set to be rewarded.

Despite reported interest from Barcelona, Real Madrid and Tottenham, Ajax's Donny van de Beek is poised for Old Trafford.

Will there be more arrivals at United?

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD TO SIGN VAN DE BEEK

Manchester United have agreed a fee to sign Ajax star Donny van de Beek, according to The Guardian and widespread reports.

Van de Beek has been linked to United, Barcelona and Real Madrid, while Tottenham were also reportedly interested.

But United are set to complete their first serious transfer ahead of the 2020-21 season in a deal reportedly worth £35.7m (€40m) plus add-ons.

 

ROUND-UP

Chelsea are close to signing Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz, reports Sport Bild. Fabrizio Romano, meanwhile, says it is only a matter of time before the Germany international completes a €100m (£89m) switch.

Sandro Tonali will join Milan, claims Romano. The Brescia sensation had been tipped to move to Inter, however, Milan are set to sign Tonali on an initial loan deal.

- Calciomercato reports Juventus want to sell Douglas Costa amid links to United. New head coach Andrea Pirlo wants to overhaul his squad.

- La Gazzetta dello Sport says Barca are considering Lazio striker Ciro Immobile as a replacement for Luis Suarez, who has been linked to Juve. Immobile finished as Serie A's top goalscorer last season.

- According to Super Deporte, Valencia are considering a move for Arsenal outcast Matteo Guendouzi.

Barca are working on reuniting Liverpool star Georginio Wijnaldum with former Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman, says Mundo Deportivo. Koeman will lead Barca after leaving his international post to replace Quique Setien.

- The Mirror claims Liverpool are ready to make an offer for Watford's Ismaila Sarr, who is valued at £40m.

- Antonio Conte has requested Inter sign N'Golo Kante from Chelsea, says Tuttomercatoweb. Inter are reportedly hoping to land the Frenchman initially on loan with the option to buy. It comes as Inter look to raise funds through the sales of players like Roberto Gagliardini, Matias Vecino and Marcelo Brozovic.

- Journalist Fredrik A.N. Filtvedt claims United are interested in Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara. Liverpool have been tipped to sign the Spaniard.

N'Golo Kante was included in the Chelsea squad ahead of Saturday's Champions League last-16 second leg against Bayern Munich.

The midfielder has not played since July 4 due to a hamstring injury but was on the bench for last Saturday's FA Cup final and trained at Cobham with team-mates on Friday.

Head coach Frank Lampard is otherwise faced with a selection headache as Chelsea attempt to overturn a 3-0 deficit to the Bundesliga champions.

Cesar Azpilicueta, Christian Pulisic and Pedro are all missing through injuries sustained in the 2-1 loss to Arsenal in the FA Cup final.

Jorginho and Marcos Alonso are suspended, while there is no place for Willian, who is being heavily linked with a move to Arsenal.

Billy Gilmour is a long-term absentee after undergoing knee surgery in July.

Lampard has named several untested youngsters in the 23-man group, including Jamie Cumming, Lewis Bate, Dynel Simeu, Henry Lawrence, Ian Maatsen and Armando Broja.

N'Golo Kante and Willian are in contention for Chelsea's FA Cup final clash with Arsenal on Saturday, though Frank Lampard refused to be drawn on who will start in goal.

France international Kante has endured a frustrating season for the Blues, with numerous injury issues and fitness problems putting him on the sidelines.

The latest was a hamstring issue suffered early this month and he has not featured since, only returning to training prior to the final Premier League game of the season.

But the midfielder is in the squad for Saturday's showdown at Wembley, while Willian – absent from the win over Wolves last weekend with an unspecified problem – could also be involved.

Lampard did not have such good news regarding Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who will not feature.

"Yes, N'Golo Kante and Willian are in the squad," Lampard said in Friday's pre-match news conference. "We will see if they're fit enough to be involved.

"But Ruben Loftus-Cheek has picked up a small problem and is out of the game."

Brazilian winger Willian has enjoyed a prominent season at Stamford Bridge, racking up nine goals and seven assists in the league and arguably rediscovering his best form despite uncertainty over his future.

The 31-year-old, whose current deal is set to expire at the end of the season, has reportedly rejected a new two-year contract at the club because he wants an extra season on top of that.

Since football resumed in June, Willian has scored three goals and set up another two and his attitude has not surprised Lampard.

When asked if he expected Willian's professionalism despite a somewhat awkward situation, Lampard said: "Yes, I've known Willian for many years as a player and I have coached him.

"If anyone wants to know the mentality of him, then that has been shown since restart. He has given everything. I would expect nothing less than he's shown already."

Where Lampard seemed most uncertain in terms of team selection ahead of Saturday was in goal – Kepa Arrizabalaga is the usual first-choice, but his form has been underwhelming, with Willy Caballero replacing the Spaniard against Wolves and a regular in cup competitions.

"It's difficult because we have competition in the squad," Lampard said. "I have changed it at times, we consider the games as we go – [for] big games, it becomes more difficult.

"I know how much players want to be in these games, but people off the bench have made a huge difference in recent games.

"It [leaving players out for a final] is difficult for me, difficult [for the players] to take, but players have to be positive."

Lampard and his counterpart Mikel Arteta will be aiming to win the first piece of silverware in their managerial careers on Saturday.

Frank Lampard apologised for his expletive-laden row with the Liverpool bench during Chelsea's 5-3 loss at Anfield but he felt a line was crossed in the Reds' ranks.

A video of Lampard and Jurgen Klopp arguing on the touchline after referee Andre Marriner awarded Liverpool a questionable free-kick for Mateo Kovacic's challenge on Sadio Mane was widely shared on social media after the game.

Spirits were high among Klopp's squad as the game was played with a temporary stage fitted in the Kop end for Liverpool to be presented with the Premier League trophy at full time.

After the game Lampard warned the Premier League champions against becoming "too arrogant" but has now apologised for how he went about conveying his feelings in the heat of the moment.

"I've seen the video and I was obviously there," he said. "I think in terms of the language I do regret that because these things get replayed a lot on social media, I'm aware and my daughters are on social media, so I regret that."

"In terms of regretting having passion to defend my team, no. I could've maybe handled it slightly different to keep that language in.

"What I felt was, and I want to be clear about this actually, that some of the reports were that I was upset with the celebrating of the Liverpool team. Far from it.

"I think Liverpool should celebrate as much as they want with the season they've had, they can celebrate like they did after the game, like they can celebrate every goal that they score, like the celebrated when they won the league a month ago, and like they're talking about celebrating one more time with their fans.

"I would've had a beer with Jurgen Klopp after the game and toasted their performance this year, but there were things on the line that I didn't like from their bench, not Jurgen Klopp, people behind the bench, which I felt crossed the line and that's what got me agitated.

"But it's done. Emotions run high among most managers and players and fans in this game. I regret the language and move on."

Chelsea's defeat means they head into the final day of the Premier League season needing a point against Wolves at Stamford Bridge to guarantee a top-four finish and a place in the 2020-21 Champions League.

Lampard insisted the Blues will not go out to play for a draw in a game that should see N'Golo Kante return from a hamstring injury that has kept him out for five matches.

"There's a possibility [Kante] will feature. He's trained for the first time towards a match pace this morning, it's a decision I'll have to make talking with him and the medical team, to see if he's ready to start," said Lampard.

He added: "We'll approach the game to win it, I don't think there's another way. We'll prepare right, respect our opponent. There obviously a very good opponent, we've seen that all season in the league.

"We prepare to win the game, we're aware of the situation but we try to win."

N'Golo Kante has been ruled out of Chelsea's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United at Wembley on Sunday.

Kante suffered a hamstring injury in the 3-0 Premier League win over Watford a fortnight ago and Frank Lampard revealed the midfielder is not ready to return at Wembley.

Blues boss Lampard said a few other players will be monitored ahead of the clash with in-form United

He said on Friday: "N'Golo Kante won't be fit for the match, he's still not right, so he's out.

"Other than that, we have a few people with little niggles, which I'll monitor over the next 24 hours or so and then we'll be ready to go."

Lampard is well aware of the threat posed by a United side who are unbeaten in 19 games and one of the London club's rivals for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

"We know they are playing well; they've got a very potent front three, the most potent front three probably in the country in terms of numbers," said Lampard.

"Obviously [Bruno] Fernandes has made a huge difference, so you see the strength they have brought to their team with individual quality. We have to be confident in ourselves, deal with their threats and worry about ourselves."

Lampard has challenged his players to grasp their opportunity to win a trophy in his first season in charge at Stamford Bridge.

"Considering where we are, we're in the semi-final, we know what's in front of us. The league is obviously huge but at this point you fight on two fronts and we have to give everything to try and do that," said the former England midfielder.

"A club like Chelsea will always want to win these kinds of trophies, it's what we've done very well in the modern era.

"Of course, it feels like a slightly different position this year because of the circumstances of the season, but we have an opportunity and it's up to the players and ourselves to make the best of it on Sunday.

"We're playing a good team, they are in good form and whoever would await us in the final will be a good team, so the work is to be done."

What does the future hold for PSG stars Kylian Mbappe and Neymar?

Real Madrid have made no secret of their admiration for Mbappe, while Barcelona have tried to re-sign Neymar.

As PSG prepare for the 2020-21 campaign, the Ligue 1 holders have made some transfer decisions.

 

TOP STORY – PSG KEEPING MBAPPE, MAKE NEYMAR DECISION

Paris Saint-Germain will not sell Kylian Mbappe ahead of the 2020-21 season but Neymar's future remains uncertain, according to L'Equipe.

Mbappe has been tipped to make the move to Real Madrid in the future, however, Ligue 1 champions PSG have no intention of parting with the France international before next season.

But Neymar – continually linked with a return to Barcelona after leaving in a world-record transfer in 2017 – could leave as PSG look to avoid losing the Brazilian star on a free transfer in 2022.

 

ROUND-UP

Chelsea are preparing their first offer for Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz. Journalist Nicolo Schira reports Chelsea will make a £62million (€70m) bid plus add-ons for Havertz amid interest from Madrid, Manchester United, Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Barca. To fund the transfer, Chelsea will look to sell Inter target Emerson Palmieri, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Jorginho, who would like to reunite with Maurizio Sarri at Juventus.

Luke Shaw could be sacrificed as United look to sign Leicester City's Ben Chilwell, claims the Mirror. United have reportedly leapfrogged Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester City in the race for full-back Chilwell.

- Gazzetta dello Sport says Inter are interested in Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante, who has also been linked to Madrid.

Willian has turned down a move to David Beckham's Inter Miami, reports the Telegraph. Willian's Chelsea contract expires at the end of the season and he has been linked to Liverpool, United, Arsenal and Tottenham.

- Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren is wanted by Russian champions Zenit, according to the Evening Standard.

- Calciomercato says Juventus are not the only club eyeing Roma star Nicolo Zaniolo. Jose Mourinho reportedly wants the Italy international at Tottenham, while Madrid and United are also believed to be interested.

- The Express claims Chelsea are stepping up their pursuit of United goalkeeper and Sheffield United loanee Dean Henderson. Chelsea are ready to ask Manchester United for a price as Kepa Arrizabalaga struggles in London.

Frank Lampard is not prepared to look ahead to next season and the possible signing of Kai Havertz - or the departure of Jorginho - just yet.

Chelsea are reportedly the favourites to sign Bayer Leverkusen star Havertz, although a rumoured price tag of over €90million is unlikely to be met by any suitor.

However, speaking ahead of his side's Premier League clash with Sheffield United on Saturday, head coach Lampard made it clear he is not interested in anything beyond the final matches of 2019-20.

Asked about Havertz, he said: "Unfortunately, it's another answer from me that that is not something I want to broach at this moment in time. My focus is completely on the games that we've got. I don't want to give you ifs, buts or maybes on any potential [deal] for the summer. My focus has to be on the here and now."

Lampard also dismissed a question about whether Jorginho will still be at the club in 2020-21, insisting: "It's irrelevant to me what happens next season."

Jorginho has slipped down the midfield pecking order at Stamford Bridge but an injury to Billy Gilmour, which is set to keep the teenager out for up to four months, means the Italy international is likely to be involved in the final games of the season.

Lampard would not say whether Jorginho will be straight back in the team to face Chris Wilder's side, but he insists the player does not have to prove he is worthy of a place at Chelsea.

"We'll see in terms of selection. I don't want to start talking about the team yet, but I don't think there's a point to prove," Lampard said.

"I spoke about him before the last game: there is no point to prove for Jorginho. He proves it in training, when he plays for me, and simply these things are [about] selection. I just want to see the usual Jorginho.

"I'm very pleased [with his attitude] and it's what I expect from players and what I want at the club because there is no way you go through a season without moments possibly out of the team, without moments that are slightly difficult individually or whatever, and you have to have a toughness to you as a squad, individually and collectively, hence why I made him vice-captain when I came in, because I saw that in his personality.

"I thought he did well when he came on the other day – it was exactly what I wanted in the game at that moment, to take control, to drive it with his voice and his quality of pass, which he's done for a huge part of this season for us. I was very pleased with him."

Lampard also plans to speak with N'Golo Kante, who will miss Saturday's game, and the Chelsea medical staff about the player's injury problems this season.

The France star has struggled with a succession of fitness concerns this term, something his coach puts down to the fact his pre-season was curtailed by a knee issue.

"The big issue this year was he came to pre-season injured and missed a massive part of pre-season," he said. "We tried to get him quickly fit for the [UEFA] Super Cup, in which he was incredible with his performance, but he was still struggling, and it's been a real domino effect for him.

"It's time maybe to take stock. The injury he's got now isn't really related to the serious nature of the knee injury he had coming into the season, it's just a small injury, which I think is probably more down to the games played and the lack of pre-season now.

"I'm happy to manage a player like him with the levels he's reached over recent years in his career and where he's at. I'm very happy to manage him as we see fit, so that will be a very open conversation between myself, N'Golo, our strength and conditioning coach and the medical team."

Manchester City are reportedly eager to sign Valencia star Ferran Torres, while there is set to be further movement at Chelsea.

Torres, 20, has been linked to numerous European giants after impressing at Valencia, where he came through the youth system.

City are seeking to replace Leroy Sane, who has joined Bayern Munich, and may have found their man.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY EAGER TO SIGN TORRES

Manchester City have made signing Valencia star Torres a priority, according to Cadena SER.

Contracted at Valencia until 2021, Torres has been linked with the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund.

Torres has scored six goals and provided seven assists in 41 games in all competitions this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- With Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner set to arrive, Chelsea could be set for further moves. Sport Bild reports defender Antonio Rudiger is in contact with Germany team-mate Kai Havertz as he tries to convince the Bayer Leverkusen star to head to Stamford Bridge.

- Staying at Chelsea and the Daily Express says Frank Lampard is looking to sell numerous players. It claims midfielder N'Golo Kante is among them and Real Madrid are eyeing the Frenchman.

- Emerson Palmieri and Olivier Giroud could also be set for Chelsea exits. Goal reports Inter are ready to offer €22million (£19m) plus add-ons for Emerson, while they are also interested in Giroud.

- With Luka Jovic seemingly set for a Real Madrid exit, the interest is apparently growing in the forward. The Daily Star claims Leicester City have joined the race for the forward, who is said to be a target for Chelsea.

- Back at San Siro and Inter have decided to put Matias Vecino on the transfer list, according to CalcioMercato. Vecino, 28, arrived at Inter from Fiorentina in 2017.

Frank Lampard is optimistic N'Golo Kante's season-spanning injury struggles might be at an end, despite a hamstring strain ruling the midfielder out of the forthcoming Premier League games against Crystal Palace and Sheffield United.

Kante will miss out at Selhurst Park on Tuesday as the Blues look to take another step towards Champions League qualification, although Lampard described the setback as "low-level" with a one-week recuperation period.

The more severe knee injury the 29-year-old sustained on the eve last season's Europa League final win over Arsenal, where Kante completed 90 minutes with the help of a painkilling injection, is one that still rankles with Lampard, who has been without one of his most influential players for 11 of the 33 Premier League games so far this term.

"He had a pretty bad injury in the Europa League final. When we came back for pre-season I expected him to be, sort of, fit," the Chelsea boss explained.

"When I say expect, I wasn't sure what the situation was and it turned out he wasn't near fit with that injury.

"Then we end up with a slight domino effect that took us through the rest of the season, which means he played pretty much 50 per cent of the games before we went into lockdown.

"I'd like to think that we're through that patch and this injury now is pretty unrelated."

There will be little let up for Chelsea's players, who could yet have an FA Cup final assignment and their Champions League last-16 clash with Bayern Munich – a 3-0 first-leg deficit makes progress to the final mini-tournament in Lisbon highly unlikely – to address in August before an expectedly quick turnaround for the 2020-21 campaign.

Lampard believes this period will show players the value of knowing their limits, suggesting the famously all-action Kante is receptive to tailoring his methods.

"The players have to be given a couple of weeks off at the end of this season, however the Premier League want to arrange the start of next – whether we're in the Champions League, how far into it or not," he said.

"[Kante] will use that little refreshment break, then work in pre-season. When you get a few injuries in your career, particularly when you're in your mid-20s, maybe you see things differently and you have to maintain yourself slightly differently.

"N'Golo is certainly buying into that so I think that will help too."

Kante's latest absence is likely to mean a return for Jorginho against Palace.

The Italy midfielder was a mainstay before lockdown, although he has been an unused substitute for Chelsea's past three Premier League games.

Nevertheless, Lampard insists he has no problem with Jorginho's efforts.

"Jorginho has to do nothing different," he said. "He trains well, he shows me that he's good for the group on and off the pitch. He's vice-captain of the club.

"There's nothing different, it's purely my choice at the moment, with what I see from the games in front of me, how I like the makeup of my midfield to be.

"Sometimes it's affected by the other players that are in that midfield, whether I think we need more defensive attributes in the game.

"He doesn't need to do anything. It's purely my choice."

Chelsea will be without N'Golo Kante for Tuesday's Premier League trip to Crystal Palace after the France midfielder sustained a hamstring strain.

Kante is also likely to be absent from the Blues' weekend assignment at Sheffield United, although head coach Frank Lampard does not expect his absence to extend much further due to the injury being "low level".

"Kante won't be in the squad, he hurt his hamstring," he told a pre-match news conference.

"It's a low-level hamstring [injury], so we're hoping it is a week or so.

"We'll play that one as it goes but I would expect we'd be very lucky to have him for Sheffield United."

Mateo Kovacic returned to training following an Achilles problem on Monday but the visit to Selhurst Park comes too soon for the Croatia international.

It means Jorginho is set to resume duties at the base of Chelsea's midfield – a position he made his own under Lampard and predecessor Maurizio Sarri until the Premier League resumption last month.

The former Napoli star has been an unused substitute for the Blues' last three matches having not featured in the matchday squad for the 2-1 comeback win at Aston Villa – one of three "Project Restart" victories, which leave Lampard's men fourth, a point behind Leicester City and two better off than Manchester United in a knife-edge battle for the Champions League places.

"He has been very professional about it," Lampard said of Jorginho. "He wants to play as every player does.

"One of the hardest parts of the job is telling a player who is not playing, or picking a squad and leaving out players. Particularly when they are training well and Jorginho always trains well.

"But he has handled it professionally and that's what I would expect. It is important for players in a long season, with the competitive squad that we have, that they are there to support players when they are out, and he has done that.

"So we will see with my selection tomorrow. I don't want to go into the personal details of positional and tactical. I just have to pick a team as I see best. They are just my choices."

Lampard hopes that positive attitude extends to his whole squad when it comes to the pressure of sealing a top-four place – something he insists Chelsea's players should relish with five top-flight games remaining.

"I like to think they are not ignoring what's around them. Football is on TV more than ever," he added, reflecting on the Premier League's rebooted schedule.

"I expect them to buy into that and want to see what results are happening around us. I think that's human nature and on a sporting level I think that means you care and want to see what's happening.

"I think then there needs to be a slight switch off to focus on what's happening to yourself. We can't control the other games, although we are certainly interested in them, but we can control what we do.

"So it can fire you up to see what happens around you. The position we are in means it is in our own hands and that's the main thing. We need to focus on putting on the best performance when we train and play."

Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard wants his players to embrace the pressure of trying to qualify for the Champions League in their Premier League battle with in-form Manchester United.

Lampard's Chelsea moved back into the top four with a 3-0 win over Watford after United had briefly leapfrogged them following a 5-2 thrashing of Bournemouth earlier on Saturday.

Chelsea are fourth in the table, two points clear of United with five matches remaining in the Premier League, as the top-four race goes down to the wire.

And Lampard told his players to ignore United, who have gone 16 matches without defeat across all competitions, after bouncing back from Wednesday's shock 3-2 loss at West Ham.

"I think every game is going to be pressure now," Lampard told reporters. "West Ham was pressure because we knew we could go third. It's a different kind of pressure but it's still the same in how you focus on the game and job at hand.

"You cannot get too caught up in what everyone does at the moment. We did that tonight. There was no nonsense. The mentality was right. We started brightly and we carried on and got the small details of the game right at both ends of the pitch, which I was happy with."

"It is not a comparison to get too caught up in," Lampard said. "They are a very good team; we know that. The individuals that they have, the squad, the coaches that they have. We can only respect that.

"I watched their game early and with the individual quality when you look across their frontline you see two players on 20 goals and Mason Greenwood doing what he is doing scoring regularly.

"[Bruno] Fernandes and [Paul] Pogba in midfield, the signing of Harry Maguire. They are a really strong outfit. We know that and the fact we are two points ahead we have to be happy about.

"We know it is going to be contested right until the end of the season with the form that they are in. With respect to Manchester United and the teams around us, we have to focus on ourselves and try to keep picking up results. That will be the main importance to us."

Olivier Giroud, Willian and Ross Barkley were on target for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

However, midfielder N'Golo Kante suffered a hamstring injury in the win after he was withdrawn with 12 minutes remaining in London.

Lampard, who insisted Jorginho remains part of his plans despite finding himself out of the line-up, added: "N'Golo has got a small hamstring [injury] which we'll have to scan tomorrow [Sunday] and see how bad it is.

"We hope it's small, that's what I've been told so far. After the scan we'll know but I'm guessing it'll be a problem for [Crystal] Palace on Tuesday."

Lampard also heaped praise on goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has been linked with a return to LaLiga, after the former Athletic Bilbao star produced an agile save to thwart Danny Welbeck.

"I am pleased for him and the back four in front of him as well because I thought we defended pretty well when we needed to," Lampard said. "But the moment when we slipped and they got in; he made a really good save.

"That's what you want from your goalkeeper, you want them to make those saves and stay alert. It will be good for his confidence along with the clean sheet as well."

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was named in Chelsea's starting line-up for the first time in 13 months when the Blues visited Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday.

The England international ruptured his Achilles in May 2019 and had not featured across the 2019-20 campaign.

In the Blues' first game back following the coronavirus-enforced break, Frank Lampard chose Olivier Giroud in attack ahead of ex-Villa loanee Tammy Abraham.

Midfielder N'Golo Kante was also in the starting line-up, having been out since February because of a groin injury.

Villa were unchanged from the side that drew 0-0 with Sheffield United on Thursday.

The trip to Villa Park was the 100th game of Lampard's managerial career, with the former Blues midfielder having won 45 of his first 99 in charge of Derby County and Chelsea.

Frank Lampard hopes N'Golo Kante stays at Chelsea for years to come and admits he "would have loved" to play with the French midfield dynamo.

Blues manager Lampard moved to assure Kante he sees him as an integral part of Chelsea's future after reports the club could sell him to raise transfer funds.

A Premier League winner with Leicester City in 2016 and Chelsea a year later, Kante turned 29 in March and will be determined to re-establish himself in Lampard's team in the coming weeks.

He has made just five appearances for Chelsea in 2020 after suffering hamstring and groin injuries, and it appeared at one stage his season might be over.

That was not down to injury, but because Kante was reportedly so concerned by the coronavirus pandemic he was said to be happy to train at home and sit out the rest of the campaign.

Kante has been back within the Chelsea camp in the last fortnight, however, and could face Aston Villa on Sunday, with Lampard saying he is "as fit as anyone in the squad".

Discussing Kante's wariness about coming back, Lampard said: "It was very genuine, he wanted to be clear about how it would work around the training ground. It's been sorted out in the short term and he's training and he's happy.

"Also in terms of N'Golo, I've seen some talk and reports about him and his future at the club.

"I've said before about N'Golo, [he is] one of the best midfield players in the world. I actually would have loved to play with him, the type of player he is. He has everything, and coming back to Chelsea and managing this club, having N'Golo Kante, is something I really wanted to appreciate and work with.

"This season unfortunately it's been tough due to injuries to N'Golo, but it's nice to see him a little bit fresh.

"One of the silver linings I suppose to this has been we've managed to get a few players fit and fresher, for whatever reason. N'Golo is so important to us as a team going forward, we need him regularly and hopefully we'll have that now."

While Kante has three years remaining on his Chelsea contract, both Willian and Pedro are set to leave Stamford Bridge within weeks.

The attacking pair could sign short-term extensions to see them through to the end of the extended Premier League season, given the COVID-19 break has pushed back the end of the campaign to late July.

Alternatively, they could walk away at the end of June when their present terms expire.

Former Chelsea and England star Lampard would trust either player, if he needs them over the remaining weeks of the season, and they could have a part to play at Villa Park.

"I have no worries about motivation. They are both top-class professionals, have been great servants to the club," Lampard said. "Every time they pull on a Chelsea shirt they'll give everything as they have done for years."

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