English Premiership

Lampard won't speak to out-of-contract players until January

2019-12-13 21:03
Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard (PA Images)

London - Frank Lampard will not speak to any of his Chelsea players about their immediate Stamford Bridge futures until next month as he considers whether to strengthen during the January transfer window.

The club's FIFA-imposed transfer ban was last week reduced on appeal by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, meaning they are free to sign players again.

Striker Olivier Giroud and forwards Willian and Pedro all have contracts that expire at the end of the season and will be free to talk to other clubs in the New Year.

Brazil star Willian has already said he wants to stay at Stamford Bridge and has vowed not to speak to any prospective suitors but Giroud and Pedro may be looking for more regular football.

Lampard confirmed he is happy with Giroud's work and for the France striker to stay at the club, but said he would not seek out chats about transfer plans with his players until next month.

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 anything until January.

"I'm happy for him (Giroud) to stay. With every player in the squad I want them to be here, to have the right professionalism and show the right desire to be here.

"He's shown me that in his training and every day this season. So that's why I'm happy."

Chelsea have been heavily linked with a January swoop for Bournemouth's Nathan Ake, with the Blues retaining a £40 million buy-back clause for their former defender.

"In terms of the back four that we have I'm very happy. We'll worry about Bournemouth tomorrow, Tottenham next Sunday, Southampton, Arsenal, Brighton. And then the window opens," said Lampard.

Lampard could look to strengthen at left-back, with Marcos Alonso out of favour in recent weeks, but the Chelsea boss said he was happy with his options in that position.

Cesar Azpilicueta has been shifting across from right-back to challenge Emerson Palmieri on the left of defence, with 20-year-old Reece James pushing through on the right.

"When you look at the players we've got there and the quality of player, I don't think it's a problem," said Lampard.

"I think we just need to make sure at all times with our full-backs that we have the capacity to get up and down. Obviously they've got to defend first and foremost but I want my full-backs to get involved a lot, and they do.

"Emerson played really well the other night, Alonso is there too and when Azpilicueta goes over there he's done that in the past too."


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