Chelsea line up swoop for talisman as Crystal Palace identify replacement


Chelsea could be set to act quickly after their transfer ban was lifted with a big money move for a Crystal Palace forward after the Eagles have reportedly already identified their perfect replacement.

Frank Lampard is set to be given his first taste of transfer window action as Blues boss in January and his first move could send shock waves through London.

According to British newspaper the Sun, Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha could be on the move across London with ‘Chelsea believed to be keen as Pedro and Willian enter the final six months of their contracts.’

Zaha’s future was the subject of frequent speculation in the summer, with a move to Arsenal regularly touted.

A move for the 27-year-old never materialised despite strong interest from the Gunners as well as Everton, but Roy Hodgson’s side will be braced for offers when the window opens and ‘are expecting more interest next month.’

The Sun article states that Palace may look to cash-in, ‘but only if they have a suitable replacement lined up.’

Burnley winger Dwight McNeil has reportedly been identified as the ideal man to replace Zaha if Chelsea come calling, with Palace ‘now considered as serious players’ in the hunt for the 20-year-old Claret.

McNeil burst on to the Premier League scene last year, with a string of impressive performances already raising his market value to around the £20m mark.



Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was left fuming with one obvious Chelsea weakness after the Blues succumbed to a 3-1 defeat to Duncan Ferguson’s Everton on Saturday.

Chelsea’s defence looked shaky all afternoon, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s first goal coming at the expense of particularly sloppy defending.

“We gave them three goals,” the manager said. “I suppose the first goal will be seen as a good goal from their point of view but we know Richarlison’s good in the air, he scores a lot of goals and we didn’t deal with it.

“Then when you give Everton that goal to hang on to, we gave ourselves a problem. We didn’t create enough chances and we didn’t want to shoot enough, we dribble into their box and we try and beat someone else. We need to shoot more.