Frank Lampard has reportedly earmarked Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell as his first signing for when Chelsea’s transfer ban ends.
The former Derby County manager has been unable to bring in any new recruits since he returned to Stamford Bridge earlier in the summer, but media reports suggest that he’s already formulating ideas for squad changes.
The England international left-back has often been linked with big-money moves since emerging from Leicester’s academy, but he’s stayed at the King Power this summer.
The Blues have turned Mateo Kovacic’s loan last season into a permanent deal this summer, whilst pre-emptively preparing for the departure of Eden Hazard by agreeing a deal with Borussia Dortmund for wide attacker Christian Pulisic back in January.
But Lampard, Chelsea’s all-time top scorer, has needed to be creative when it comes to the squad. He’s turned to Chelsea’s extensive list of loanees and academy products so far.
Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori, both of whom played on loan under him with the Rams last season, are in his plans. The former started in Chelsea’s 4-0 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday, whilst the latter was named on the bench.
The Leicester City man is contracted to the club until 2024. The asking price for the player would reportedly be upwards of £70m.
Pep Guardiola is also rumoured to be an admirer, but Manchester City opted against signing him this summer as new faces Angeliño and Joao Cancelo arrived to give Benjamin Mendy and Oleksandr Zinchenko extra competition in that department.
Current left-back Emerson Palmieri emerged with some credit despite the heavy loss at Old Trafford, looking one of Chelsea’s more dangerous players going forward as he clipped the woodwork and forced David de Gea into saves.
Chelsea could be transformed in the full-back department in the coming years, with it being suggested Lampard sees academy product Reece James, who impressed during a breakthrough season on loan at Wigan last season, as the future on the right.
“Reece James coming back, who is going to be a big player for us, I think,” said Lampard, namechecking the player specifically following the Manchester United defeat.
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