Olivier Giroud

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Lampard calls for Chelsea to finish chances: ‘We know where we need to strengthen’

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Chelsea’s dramatic last-gasp loss to Newcastle United was, in a way, a blessing in disguise for Frank Lampard and company.

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The Blues conceded their first first loss since Boxing Day, dropping crucial points in the league’s top-four race. With plenty of chances to score at hand, the visit to St. James’ Park is one of sheer frustration.

But at the same time, the London side learned an invaluable lesson: Chelsea are in dire need of a new striker before the January transfer window comes to a close. Chelsea registered 19 shots (4 on target) on Saturday but squandered most, while Newcastle’s netminder Martin Dúbravka did his job and saved a few.

“We know we have problems at the top of the pitch in terms of we don’t get enough goals,” Lampard said following his team’s 1-0 loss, via the BBC.
“If you don’t score you are always liable for a sucker punch and they got it.”

“If we are looking for people to bring in to the areas to win games when you are controlling it, it is scoring goals.”

From RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner to Lyon’s Moussa Dembele, Chelsea has been linked to a striker all winter long. With Olivier Giroud a signature away from sealing a move to Inter Milan, a replacement is necessary.

Sure, Tammy Abraham‘s return to Stamford Bridge is an outright success – 13 goals and two assists in 22 league appearances – but rotation is visibly needed. Michy Batshuayi replaced Abraham, but failed to show any promising signs. The 26-year-old has scored just once in 13 matches this season.

“We can’t work anymore in training on finishing,” the 41-year-old manager added. “You need to have that killer instinct in front of goal. We need to score more goals from front-line areas if we are going to get to where we want to be.”

Lampard gave no indicator that his side are on the brink of landing a new goalscorer up top. With the transfer window open for just 13 days, however, Chelsea are going to have to get intentional on their search.

“It’s quite clear from what I am saying now that we know where we need to strengthen but we shall see.”

Transfer rumor roundup: Young, Giroud to Inter Milan; Begovic to AC Milan

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A roundup of all of Saturday’s biggest transfer rumors, including those involving Premier League outfits.

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Manchester United’s Ashley Young and Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud are reportedly heading to San Siro, respectively.

Young, 34, has agreed to personal terms with the Italian giants, according to Sky Sports’ Fabrizio Romano.

Both teams will need to come to an agreement on the transfer before the move is made official. Just days ago, Manchester United offered Young a one-year deal, but the English veteran denied.

Giroud, too, is days away from making his switch out of Stamford Bridge official.

The Frenchman has a two-year contract on the table, with negotiations reportedly set to continue over the weekend. As of late, Giroud has fallen out of favor in Frank Lampard‘s pecking order.

Chelsea are expected to receive around a reported $7 million for the 33-year-old’s services.


With Pepe Reina set to join Aston Villa on Monday, AC Milan are looking for a quick replacement for the substitute role.

His name? Asmir Begovic. AC Milan have their sights set on Bournemouth’s goalkeeper as the desired replacement for the Spaniard, according to Sky Sports.


There has been a lot of talk on Christian Eriksen departing Tottenham, and it seems like it’s coming to an end.

According to Gazzetta dello Sport, the Danish star has reached a personal agreement to join Inter Milan on a four-year deal.

Spurs are looking to get $22 million for the midfielder, but Inter, who still need to reach an agreement with the English club, are expected to negotiate for less.


Donny van de Beek isn’t making a move to Manchester United – or elsewhere – just yet.

The 22-year-old midfielder declared on Saturday that he is staying at Ajax this winter amid links to United and real Madrid.

“It is not that I can or want to do something at the moment,” Van de Beek told Fox Sports Netherlands. “I have said it before and I will say it again: I will remain at Ajax this season. And maybe next season as well.

“These reports about Real Madrid or Man United are a good sign, but it is not important now,” he aded. “I’ve said I will stay at Ajax and I will do so 100 per cent.”


Gedson Fernandes may not be heading to West Ham after all.

Fernandes, 21, was reportedly on the verge of signing a 18-month loan deal with the Irons; however, last-minute interest from Spurs might send the midfielder to North London.

Top 10 players to watch in January window

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January is here and the transfer window is open again with plenty of big moves rumored as Premier League clubs aim to kick on in the second half of the season.

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With that in mind, here’s a look at 10 players you should keep an eye on during this month as they could be moving to or leaving the PL.

We will keep you updated with all the latest goings on throughout this month with analysis and reaction right here at Pro Soccer Talk.


Olivier Giroud (Chelsea)
The 33-year-old isn’t getting much game time at Chelsea and reports suggest he is being offered to plenty of clubs, including Lyon, as Chelsea want to bring in Moussa Dembele. Giroud’s ability to hold the ball up and score goals mean plenty of PL clubs will be looking at a January move, maybe on loan, as the French international is out of contract this summer. He will be desperate for minutes in the second half of the season as he pushes to start for France at EURO 2020 this summer.


Nathan Ake (Bournemouth)
Currently out injured, Ake has been a rock for Bournemouth since he arrived on loan then permanently from Chelsea. It is said the Blues have a $50 million buyback clause and given their defensive problems this season, that would be a smart buy for Frank Lampard‘s side. The Dutch international has also been interesting Man City and Arsenal and if he doesn’t leave Bournemouth this January, he will be a man in demand this summer.


Jarrod Bowen (Hull City)
Teams in the bottom half of the table usually take a punt on a player doing really well in the Championship. Bowen, 23, fits the bill as he’s scored 17 goals for Hull City so far this season and bagged 22 last season. A real poacher in and around the box, Bowen has been linked with a move to Leicester, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Newcastle among others. He has come up through the ranks in non-league and seems capable of making the next step up.


Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain)
A veteran striker with undoubted quality, both Arsenal and Man United have been linked with El Matador. So too have Atletico Madrid and Inter Miami, but Cavani, 32, playing in the Premier League would be very interesting. He is more physical than Gonzalo Higuain but injuries have hit him hard in recent months. Would he would be worth a gamble for a team pushing to get into the top four?


Moussa Dembele (Lyon)
The former Fulham and Celtic forward is a man in demand after another fine season in Ligue 1 for Lyon. Chelsea and Man United are said to be interested in signing him this month even though Lyon have said they don’t want to sell until summer, if they’re going to at all. Dembele, 23, is a clinical finisher who hovers around the box and he also has the ability to make clever runs behind opposition defenders. Would cost way over $70 million.


Christian Eriksen (Tottenham)
Available on a free this summer, Eriksen could well stay at Spurs and see out his contract but chairman Daniel Levy loves a good deal and if they can get a transfer fee for Eriksen now perhaps he will leave. Eriksen has been indifferent throughout this season as he’s been linked to Man United, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and other giant clubs across Europe. He has all of the ability to excel wherever he ends up and maybe it would be best for everyone if he moved on this month.


Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Perhaps the man most coveted in this window, Zaha wanted to leave in the summer but Arsenal and Everton didn’t match Palace’s valuation. After a fine few months leading up to January he will probably go for close to $110 million and Chelsea are the frontrunners to sign him. Zaha’s pace and trickery are his main strengths and he is desperate to return to a team challenging for trophies and playing in the Champions League. At 27 years old, now seems like the perfect time for Zaha to make the step up.


Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid)
The French winger has reportedly been offered to Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs and other Premier League clubs as Atletico try and move on the man they paid Monaco $66.5 million in the summer of 2018. Lemar, 24, has got regular minutes for Atletico but has only scored three times in 49 La Liga appearances. Surely, Spurs and maybe even Chelsea will see this as a cheaper, and very decent, alternative to buying someone like Sancho or Zaha.


Kyle Walker-Peters (Tottenham)
Crystal Palace, Southampton and others have been linked with a loan move for Spurs’ young right back who hasn’t been able to jump ahead of Serge Aurier. Walker-Peters needs game time to keep his development going and it is unlikely he will leave permanently. A no-brainer for PL clubs further down the table who want some extra help in defense.


Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea)
Another January, another loan move on the cards for Batshuayi. The Belgian international has joined Borussia Dortmund, Valencia and Palace in recent windows and the likes of Palace and Aston Villa have been linked with a loan move for him this time around. Batshuayi is second-choice behind Tammy Abraham and Chelsea will not be willing to let him go if they fail to bring in Dembele, or someone else, in attack.

Transfer rumor roundup: Sancho deal off; Dembele to Chelsea, Man Utd

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It appears that Jadon Sancho will not be heading to the Premier League in January.

Our partners at Sky Sports in Germany claim that the Bundesliga giants will not sell Sancho, 19, in January and will instead focus on getting the best deal possible for the winger this summer as they won’t be able to replace him this month.

Sancho has been linked with moves to Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United, as the former Watford and Man City youth product has shone for Dortmund over the last 18 months as he’s become a regular for England.

Dortmund have already admitted that Sancho won’t be around much longer as they continue their incredible record of attracting the top young talent in Europe, getting a few years out of them and then selling the stars on for big profits.

Chelsea have been linked strongly with a move for Sancho as the likes of Willian and Pedro are the wrong side of 30 and the former has yet to sign a new contract at Stamford Bridge.

Keeping Sancho until this summer is a smart move by Dortmund. Financially they will get more if they start a bidding war for him in the summer transfer window, when most clubs are willing to do business as they know better what their revenue streams will be in the upcoming year.

With Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid all linked with a move for Sancho too, the Premier League’s big boys know they will have to splash out over $130 million to sign the teenager who took Christian Pulisic‘s place in the Dortmund team.

Man United and Chelsea seem the most likely to bite the bullet and pay big bucks for Sancho, with Man City and Liverpool well stocked in the attacking areas of the pitch.


Talking of Man United and Chelsea, the duo are locked into a battle to sign Lyon’s Moussa Dembele.

The former Fulham and Celtic striker, 23, has been the subject of bids in January and various reports state that Chelsea have made an offer of over $50 million to sign Dembele.

A report from the Daily Mail also suggests that Chelsea will offer French national team forward Olivier Giroud as a makeweight in the deal for Dembele, as Lyon play hardball over their top goalscorer from last season.

He’s scored 10 goals in 18 Ligue 1 appearances this season and has been linked with a move back to the UK consistently.

Dembele would provide great competition for Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham and Man United’s Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, and it would appear Chelsea are pushing hard to sign the French striker. Aside from Abraham they only have Michy Batshuayi and Giroud as center forward options and Frank Lampard is keen to spend in January as his young side are keen to kick on in the second half of the season to seal a top four finish.

With the Blues able to sign players again as their transfer ban is over, they have the financial edge in this deal. They also have the greater need to add a center forward. Chelsea seems like a very good for Dembele and the next logical step on his career path.

Transfer rumor roundup: Giroud set for Chelsea exit; Man United after Jimenez and Neves?

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A roundup of all of Sunday’s biggest transfer rumors, including those involving Premier League outfits.

[ MORE: Premier League January transfer needs ]

Frank Lampard confirmed reports about Olivier Giroud departing Stamford Bridge this winter on Sunday, saying it’s possible that he will leave soon.

“There’s no update on Ollie, but I’ve spoken with him,” Lampard said. “If the conditions are that it’s something he really wants to do and it works for the club, for me and the squad then it’s something that could happen.

“But only when all of those bases are covered,” he added. “So we’ll see if we’re there.”

Giroud, 33, is under contract with the Blues until the summer, but has only featured twice this season. Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, West Ham, and now Newcastle are linked to the Frenchman.

In January of 2018, Giroud joined Chelsea from rivals Arsenal for a reported $23-million fee.


Wolves’ Raul Jimenez and Ruben Neves are in “early stage” talks with Manchester United via their representatives, according to Goal. On Saturday, managers Nuno Espirito Santo and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke on the rumors following the scoreless draw between Wolves and Manchester United, with Solskjaer unforthcoming about the possibilities of the Mexican’s chances of playing at Old Trafford.


Carlo Ancelotti has given Everton’s board the green light to try and lure Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez to Goodison Park on a loan.


Jerome Boateng’s link to Arsenal continues to thicken as the clock ticks. The north London club have inquired about a potential transfer fee, the pleyer’s wages and whether the German defender would be available via loan, given that the Gunners shelled close to $200 million over the summer.


Youngsters Max Aaron from Norwich and West Brom’s Nathan Ferguson are targets for Tottenham’s Jose Mourinho.


Despite only featuring eight times for Everton this season, Crystal Palace are interested in Cenk Tosun. The 28-year-old striker was linked to a move to Selhurst Park before he joined the Toffees in January 2018.