Frank Lampard is still in talks with Crystal Palace over replacing Roy Hodgson – and their transfer plans seem to be taking shape as a result.
Hodgson is out of contract with Palace at the end of the season. He has given little away about his future but it seems he will be saying farewell this month. The former England manager has done a good job of stabilising them in the Premier League but now they want to aim higher.
To do so, they want to replace the 73-year-old with a manager who has a different philosophy. Lampard recently emerged as a candidate and the chances of him being appointed seem to be growing.
The 42-year-old has been out of work since getting the sack from Chelsea in January. He did well with a young squad last season, but struggled to build on that after investing in big-name players. Hence, he was replaced by Thomas Tuchel.
Lampard remains a promising coach, though, so it is surely a matter of time before he finds another job. He was linked with the vacancy with the England under-21s but staying in club management seems more likely.
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According to Fabrizio Romano, talks between Lampard, his agent and Crystal Palace are “progressing”. All parties remain in contact as the Eagles look to keep him in London.
What’s more, Palace are already making transfer plans to appease their potential new boss. Romano adds that they are trying to sign Abdallah Sima from Slavia Prague.
The striker is a target for West Ham and the Czech club have even publicly announced that the Hammers are in talks.
But Palace have also been linked and now could pose a threat to their rivals’ hopes of signing him.
Sima has 11 goals from 20 appearances in the Gambrinus League and at the age of 19, is the kind of player Lampard could develop.
Palace may need a new striker if Christian Benteke doesn’t sign a new contract before the end of next month. Hence, Sima may be an option to help fill the void.
Chelsea duo already linked
When news of Palace’s interest in Lampard emerged earlier this month, it didn’t take long for some of his former Chelsea pupils to be linked.
The Telegraph named Billy Gilmour and Tammy Abraham as two players he could pursue.
Gilmour was promoted to the Chelsea first-team squad under Lampard but hasn’t had as many opportunities under Tuchel. A loan deal could be an interesting solution.
Abraham has also struggled to get in Tuchel’s lineups, whereas he was a regular goalscorer under Lampard. Chelsea could listen to offers for the striker, who could be exactly what Palace need.
It was also claimed that Palace had set aside a £50m budget for Lampard to work with in the transfer market. He was looking for assurances that he would be backed in that department and it seems they are getting closer to convincing him.