Chelsea are said to be stepping up their transfer plans for the January window, as hopes grow that the Premier League club may have their two-window transfer ban from FIFA reduced to one on appeal.
Their appeal will be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Nov. 20, with FIFA releasing documents last week stating that the west London club are guilty of 150 breaches of regulations.
But if the ban is lifted, Frank Lampard has revealed that in January he will look to spend a big chunk of the supposed $200 million kitty he will have at his disposal.
“Listen, I think as Chelsea we will always look to improve in windows if we can, if we’re allowed to and if the players we might look at are better or we feel are worth adding to the squad,” Lampard said.
If the ban is lifted, who are they looking to bring in this January?
Over the last 12 months Dembele, 23, has shone at Lyon after doing the same at Celtic from 2016-18 following his move from Fulham in 2016. With Tammy Abraham, Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi the forward options for Frank Lampard’s men, sprucing things up in January, if possible, would be ideal.
Abraham has become the starter with Batshuayi adding important goals off the bench, but with Giroud growing frustrated as third-choice striker, a move for Dembele, who is still just 23, seems to fit Chelsea’s model of signing exciting, young talent whenever they can.
According to The Telegraph, other players Chelsea are keeping a close eye on include Jadon Sancho, Wilfried Zaha, Ben Chilwell and Nathan Ake. The first three will cost a huge amount, especially Sancho, while Ake can be bought back by Chelsea for $50 million after they sold him to Bournemouth permanently in 2017.
Sancho would cost over $150 million on his own, with a premium too on Zaha and Chilwell, but Chelsea have built up a hefty chunk of cash due to their transfer ban.
The fact they’re in the top four with a young team full of academy products is a testament to Lampard’s work, and now they can build from a position of strength.