Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has confirmed he held showdown talks over the future of defensive star Antonio Rudiger and hinted what the immediate future might hold.
The Blues spent big in the the summer, with the vast majority of their expenditure being invested in the forward ranks.
The defence was not neglected, however, with veteran presence Thiago Silva brought in from Paris on a free. England left-back Ben Chilwell was also acquired for a fee worth approximately £50m from Leicester.
A common criticism of Chelsea last season was their inability to maintain leads.
Their shaky defence has performed little better so far this campaign, with nine goals conceded from just six league meetings.
One solution could be to bring German centre-half Rudiger back into the fold.
Speculation had swirled over the 27-year-old’s exit after falling out of favour with Lampard.
PSG and AC Milan had registered their interest, while a shock switch to Tottenham had raised eyebrows closer to home.
However, recent reports suggested Lampard would hold crunch talks with the German with the aim of reintegrating Rudiger back into his plans.
These reports have now been confirmed by Lampard, who hinted that Rudiger could be set for a return to the starting line-up as early as their Champions League clash with Krasnodar on Wednesday night.
“I saw the story,” said Lampard in his pre-match press conference (via The Metro). “I’ve had discussions with Antonio and all the players as regularly as I can do.
“I have always had a positive relationship with him. Everything I do I do for the selection and for the team and every week.
“With the squad we have at the minute, you have to have players out of the squad and it’s always big news for everybody. He is in the squad and in contention to play.”
Chelsea in six-way transfer battle
Meanwhile, Manchester United and Chelsea are monitoring the progress of Cagliari defender Sebastian Walukiewicz, according to reports.
The two Premier League clubs were linked with a number of defenders during the summer transfer market. However, they both opted to focus more on reinforcing their attacks.
For example, United prioritised the additions of Edinson Cavani in attack and Donny van de Beek in midfield. The only defender they brought in was left-back Alex Telles, leaving some doubts over their options in the centre of defence.
As for Chelsea, they signed Thiago Silva as a free agent from PSG. However, they failed to complete a deal for West Ham’s Declan Rice, who they wanted to convert into a defender.
Therefore, both clubs could return for defensive targets when the transfer window opens again in January.