Frank Lampard

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Chelsea’s Lampard prepared to go without January signings

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Frank Lampard is not only prepared for, but almost seems to prefer that, Chelsea make no new signings this month despite the club’s transfer ban being reduced to allow the Blues to sign players in January.

[ MORE: Report: Bruno Fernandes to Man United after Lisbon Derby ]

It’s not that Lampard believes he has the perfect squad, but he fears upsetting the balance and good vibes for a young group of players who have performed admirably thus far. Signing players for the sake of signing players would be “a knee-jerk reaction,” according to Lampard — quotes from the Guardian:

“I don’t want to comment on those deals because I think it’s easy with hindsight. … I think the idea of January being a time to buy players, it’s difficult for everybody: for players coming in — especially if they’re coming from a different league — for the club and for the settlement of the group. I think that’s why we have to think ultra-carefully.

“I don’t want to make some knee-jerk reaction to say: ‘Here’s my first big signing’ because we couldn’t sign anyone in the summer. No, I want to do the right thing for the club. That’s why if I do it I’ll try to consider all things. Hopefully it’s the best thing for us. Whether that’s more of a short-term option or a long-term option, we’ll also have to consider.”

As for potential outgoing players, West Ham United reportedly made a bid to take midfielder Ross Barkley on loan, but Chelsea rejected the offer and have no intention of letting the player leave Stamford Bridge this month.

Premier League Preview: Newcastle United v. Chelsea

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Chelsea visits surprising Newcastle United in a marquee match Saturday at St. James’ Park (Watch Live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

The hosts have scrapped their way to 26 points, five points both clear of the drop zone and back of seventh place. A draw at Wolves last weekend snapped a three-match league losing streak.

Chelsea maintains a five-point gap over Manchester United in its bid to claim a Top Four place, with the Red Devils meeting unbeaten Liverpool this week. The Blues are seeking back-to-back league wins for the first time since Nov. 9.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Newcastle has had a fair bit of success against the big boys this season, beating Manchester United and Spurs while drawing Man City.

Christian Pulisic stole the ball en route to Marcos Alonso‘s late goal in a 1-0 win when the two sides met at Stamford Bridge in October.

Pulisic, of course, is still out injured for Chelsea and Lampard says the American could return near the club’s February break. Newcastle has electric winger Allan Saint-Maximin back in the fold after more than a month on the sidelines. Matt Ritchie and Jonjo Shelvey are also available.


Injuries/suspensions

Newcastle United: OUT — Paul Dummett, Dwight Gayle, DeAndre Yedlin, Fabian Schar, Jetro Willems, Javi Manquillo. QUESTIONABLE — DeAndre Yedlin, Yoshinori Muto.

Chelsea: OUT — Ruben Loftus-Cheek, N’Golo Kante, Pulisic. QUESTIONABLE — Marcos Alonso.


Probable lineups

Newcastle United: Dubravka; Willems, Clark, Lascelles, Fernandez, Ritchie; Hayden, Shelvey; Saint-Maximin, Joelinton, Almiron.

Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger, James; Jorginho, Willian, Mount, Kovacic, Hudson-Odoi; Abraham.


What they’re saying

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce on his meeting with owner Mike Ashley: “It went very well. We showed what we are trying to do, and he was fully supportive. We have plates spinning and hope to add to the squad by the end of the month. We have said that the targets have to improve us. He has been fully supportive of the remit. He agrees we buy quality not quantity. That has to be the mantra.”

Chelsea’s Frank Lampard on Newcastle’s many injuries: “It is still an opportunity, but this is vital. Every game brings challenges, going to Newcastle, the emotion of the crowd and they are an organized side. We won’t take it lightly. We have to take every game head-on. We don’t underestimate there. Bournemouth were down to the bare bones and we lost, it can bring out a different feeling. They have done very well and I don’t look at the bare bones.


Prediction

St. James’ Park has been a tough place to play, but the Blues shake off any travel to collect a 2-1 win over the Magpies.

USMNT star Pulisic to miss a ‘few weeks’ for Chelsea

Christian Pulisic injured for Chelsea
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Chelsea will be without American winger Christian Pulisic for several weeks after the 21-year-old suffered an adductor injury.

Manager Frank Lampard is not downplaying the player’s absence, which comes with Burnley, Newcastle, Arsenal, and Leicester City next on the PL fixture list.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Pulisic has six goals and six assists in under 1600 minutes for the Blues since arriving from Borussia Dortmund. Five of those goals and two assists have come in the Premier League.

“It is a damaging miss,” Lampard said, via Football.London. “Before Christmas he did report a bit of tiredness so he came out of the team and I was worried about injury. He is a very talented player, where he can make things happen.”

Pulisic has been dangerous when healthy and chosen by Lampard, as detailed in Joe Prince-Wright’s first half report card.

Still, he pledged improvement on the field as recently as last week. Clearly, this injury is a tricky one.

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.

Report: Chelsea in pursuit of Bayern Munich’s David Alaba

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A new, natural left-back may be on his way to Stamford Bridge this winter.

Chelsea are weighing in on placing a $78-million (£60 million) bid for Bayern Munich’s David Alaba, according to a report.

Longtime left-back favorite, Marcos Alonso, has fallen in Frank Lampard‘s pecking order, making just eight Premier League appearances this season. As a result, the 41-year-old has recently instead shifted captain Cesar Azpilicueta from his natural right-back position to the left side.

20-year-old Reece James now features as the Blues’ right-back, a glaring indicator that Lampard isn’t sold on either Alonso or 25-year-old Emerson Palmieri.

Alaba, 27, has a contract with the German giants until the summer of 2021, meaning that the transfer price is not coming at a reduced price.

Debuting for Bayern’s first team in 2010, Alaba has since made 250 Bundesliga appearances, scoring 22 goals and jotting 25 assists. This season, he’s featured 17 times for the champions throughout all competitions.

At the age of 17, Alaba earned his first cap with Austria; since then, he’s registered a total of 72 caps.

The Blues are free to engage in the transfer market after their appeal on a two-window transfer ban was ratified by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in early December.