Belfast Telegraph

Frank Lampard won’t talk to out-of-contract players until January

The deals of Olivier Giroud, Willian and Pedro run out in the summer.

Frank Lampard is not focusing on his January plans just yet (John Walton/PA)
Frank Lampard is not focusing on his January plans just yet (John Walton/PA)

By Nick Purewal, PA

Frank Lampard will not speak to any of his Chelsea players about their immediate Stamford Bridge futures until next month.

Striker Olivier Giroud and forwards Willian and Pedro all have Blues contracts that expire in the summer and will be free to talk to other clubs in the new year.

Brazil star Willian has already insisted he wants to stay at Stamford Bridge and vowed not to speak to any prospective suitors, but Giroud and Pedro will be looking for more regular football.

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Willian has said he wants to stay at Chelsea (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Lampard confirmed he is happy with Giroud’s work and for the France striker to stay at the club, but insisted he will not seek out chats about transfer plans with his players until next month.

Asked if he had spoken to Giroud about his Chelsea future, Lampard said: “No. No. All the players that are here, I won’t have any talk about anything until January.

“I’m happy for him (Giroud) to stay. With every player in the squad I want them to be here, to have the right professionalism and show the right desire to be here.

“He’s shown me that in his training and every day this season. So that’s why I’m happy.

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Olivier Giroud, left, has fallen behind Tammy Abraham in the Chelsea pecking order (John Walton/PA)

“It’s always an issue for the club as well as myself, obviously as the manager I have conversations upstairs. There’s a money side, and a playing side.

“But I want players that want to be here and want to do well for us. So that’s simple from my point of view.”

Chelsea have been heavily linked to a January swoop for Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake, with the Blues retaining a £40million buy-back clause for their former defender.

Asked if that clause was a shrewd move, Lampard said: “I don’t know how clever it is. It is what it is.

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Nathan Ake has been linked with a move back to Chelsea (Mark Kerton/PA)

“He came through here and has then gone to Bournemouth for regular football and he has done fantastically well. He has shown himself to be a really good defender in the Premier League.

“In terms of the back four that we have I’m very happy. We’ll worry about Bournemouth tomorrow, Tottenham next Sunday, Southampton, Arsenal, Brighton. And then the window opens.”

Lampard could look to strengthen at left-back with Marcos Alonso out of favour in recent weeks, but the Chelsea boss insisted he is happy with his resources in the role.

Cesar Azpilicueta has been shifting across from right-back to challenge Emerson Palmieri on the left of defence, with 20-year-old Reece James pushing through on the right.

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Reece James, centre, has broken into the Chelsea team (Simon Cooper/PA)

“When you look at the players we’ve got there and the quality of player, I don’t think it’s a problem,” said Lampard.

“I think we just need to make sure at all times with our full-backs that we have the capacity to get up and down. Obviously they’ve got to defend first and foremost but I want my full-backs to get involved a lot, and they do.

“Emerson played really well the other night, Alonso is there too and when Azpilicueta goes over there he’s done that in the past too.”

PA

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