Cheslea head coach Frank Lampard remains optimistic midfielder Mason Mount will be fit for their Premier League clash with Liverpool.

Mount, 20, sustained an ankle injury sustained in Chelsea's defeat to Valencia in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Chelsea's medical staff will make the final call on Mount's involvement but Lampard is hopeful he will be available to face Jurgen Klopp's side on Sunday.

"He has got a chance. The image of the tackle made it look really bad," Lampard said, at his media conference ahead of the match at Stamford Bridge.

"Hopefully it is not so bad, we are trying to get him moving today, it is one that I will have to call later on before the game. 

"We are trying, the good thing about Mason is his attitude is so good that he will give everything to play for this club. We will have every opportunity to try to get him there.

"There was a lot of swelling, it didn't look the best. Injuries with the ankle, from my experience, if there is proper damage there is not much you can do. If it's swollen you strap it up. 

"We won't take any risks, there is a bigger picture, we will do our best."

 

Chelsea's midfield options for the visit of the Premier League leaders have been strengthened by N'Golo Kante's return to training.

Kante has not featured since Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Leicester on August 18 and has missed their last three matches with an ankle injury.

The 28-year-old France midfielder struggled with injuries in recent months having been absent most of Chelsea's pre-season with a knee problem.

"It is a boost, we know the importance of him for any team that he plays in. The quality that he brings," added Lampard.

"The question is how fit he is. He has had a long time out now since the back-end of last season.

"He has played a couple of games, but you can't count that as much because he missed pre-season.

"Now we have to manage him, similar to Mason, with the bigger picture. It's great to have him back around us."

Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard has warned Callum Hudson-Odoi the "hard work starts now" after the teenager signed a new long-term deal.

England international Hudson-Odoi put pen to paper on a new five-year contract on Thursday which will keep him at Stamford Bridge until 2024.

The 18-year-old winger's future had been the subject of much speculation, with Bayern Munich strongly linked to the youngster before he agreed fresh terms.

Lampard had assured Hudson-Odoi, who has been out injured since rupturing his Achilles in April, he was a central part of his plans when he replaced Maurizio Sarri in the Chelsea dugout in July.

And speaking at a news conference on Friday ahead of Sunday's clash with Premier League leaders Liverpool, Lampard said Hudson-Odoi now has to show his worth on the pitch.

"He is a young lad who has come through the academy, the club have worked hard with him, and he has worked hard to get one foot in the first team," Lampard said.

"For me it felt like it was what everyone wanted. It was away from me slightly with the club dealing with the contract itself. 

"But I made it clear I wanted him at the club because I believe in his talent. Now that a five-year contract is signed it is where the hard work really starts for him. 

"He has got everything we are trying to bring, we know the talent he has, that he has shown on occasions in the first team when he has had his opportunity. 

"I think there is a lot more. It's pure hard work that will get him there. Now that it is signed and sealed we can put that to bed and get to work."

Hudson-Odoi and Lampard had face-to-face talks during pre-season amid rumours the player was seeking to leave Stamford Bridge.

Lampard emphasised to the teenager that his vision for Chelsea involved putting faith in the club's youngsters.

"A lot of the talk was before me, a lot of that talk was from last season, so I only saw that from the outside," added Lampard.

"The only talks I had were not persuasion, but about how I see it at the club. Hopefully Callum can look at the other younger players around him getting their opportunities.

"They are not being handed to them on a plate but because they have earned them because they have worked so hard in pre-season.

"You talk about Tammy [Abraham] and Mason [Mount] and Fikayo [Tomori], it is a nice thing for him to see and something that he can be hungry for."

Jurgen Klopp acknowledges Liverpool have plenty of room for improvement in their away record against fellow 'big six' teams in the Premier League.

The Reds will aim to maintain their 100 per cent start to the top-flight campaign, which has given them an early five-point advantage over champions Manchester City, when they travel to Chelsea on Sunday.

Since winning 3-1 at Stamford Bridge in September 2016, Liverpool have only won once in 12 subsequent away Premier League games against the Blues, City, Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal.

City, who beat Klopp's men 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium in January before winning the title by a point in 2018-19, have seven such wins over the same period, while Crystal Palace have beaten heavyweights on their own patch five times.

"Because they're really good, eh? Could be one reason," Klopp said at a pre-match news conference when a failure to beat such opponents was raised.

"Crystal Palace and Man City, obviously there are different ways to win away games. We have to find one.

"This is not good news but I don't feel it. Give it a try… the longer things like this happen, the more likely it is it will change.

"We can't go there to Chelsea and have a guarantee we'll win a game there, they are too strong for that.

"We've been unlucky in moments, really good performances of the opponents in others. There are different reasons.

"There's obviously a job to do, we will prepare besides that statistic. It's all about the quality in the performance.

"It is not written in the stars that we are not allowed to win against Chelsea. Obviously it is difficult but still we should try it."

Liverpool's imperious early season form was checked in midweek, when Napoli handed them a 2-0 defeat in the first outing of their Champions League defence

"Performance-wise, the longer I thought about the game, it was not a game you usually lose, to be honest," Klopp said.

"It was a mature game against a difficult opponent. The quality of Napoli is too big to dominate. They are a very good team.

"We kept it open until the penalty happened and then the second goal, we do not really have to talk about it.

"We are in a good shape, we have to keep going. We are in a good moment and we should keep that."

Klopp once again expects to be without forward Divock Origi in west London due to an ankle injury, while Naby Keita (hip) and Alisson (calf) are continuing their rehabilitation.

Jurgen Klopp believes Chelsea youngsters Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount can already be bracketed as £60million players.

Liverpool travel to face Frank Lampard's side on Sunday at Stamford Bridge, where there is an air of positivity despite some mixed results at the start of the season.

Confronted by a transfer ban, Lampard has given youth its head, with playmaker Mount pushing on to make his England debut and striker Abraham enjoying a prolific run of form.

Speaking ahead of the match, Klopp told reporters he recognises some of the attributes in a youthful Chelsea side that helped his Borussia Dortmund team claim back-to-back Bundesliga titles at the start of the decade.

"It's a really exciting team. It reminds me a bit of my team at Dortmund years back, when they were really young – even younger than this team now at Chelsea," he said.

"People talked about how young they were but they only played because they were that good, not because they were that young.

"They brought in Christian Pulisic in the summer for 50-or-60million and all the players around him have the same value.

"Tammy Abraham is now a 60million player, Mason Mount for sure 60million - if not more, [Callum] Hudson-Odoi was [worth] that already."

Abraham followed back-to-back braces against Norwich City and Sheffield United with a hat-trick in last weekend's 5-2 win at Wolves.

He is now aiming to become the second player in Premier League history after ex-Liverpool favourite Luis Suarez to score at least twice in four consecutive games.

Klopp feels the 21-year-old's loan spells at Swansea City and Aston Villa have paid dividends, with Mount's excellent form on the back of a year at Derby County also vindicating this aspect of Chelsea's approach.

"If there is one club in the world who a transfer ban didn't hit that bad, it was probably Chelsea because of the transfer policy they did in the last few years with all these high-quality players out there on loan," he said.

"Tammy Abraham scored 20-something goals last year. It's not that he learnt where the goal is at Chelsea, he found it in different places already.

"They are a proper contender for pretty much everything."

A 1-0 Champions League defeat to Valencia in midweek and an ankle injury scare for Mount checked Lampard's progress but Klopp – whose Premier League leaders were also beaten at Napoli on Tuesday – feels the ex-England midfield boasts clear coaching potential.

"He's done really well but it’s difficult to say. I don’t think it’s my job to talk about other managers, really," he added.

"What I can say is they play really exciting football. They played the last two games with a different system in a very busy period of the year, so that's interesting.

"He has an exciting football team – young, but really good.

"I said it before and probably people think I say it because I'm polite. It's not polite, it’s the truth – he did an outstanding job at Derby so I'm not surprised he's doing a good job at Chelsea as well."

Callum Hudson-Odoi has signed a new five-year contract at Chelsea, the club has confirmed.

The England international joins fellow academy products Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount in committing to long-term deals since Frank Lampard's appointment as head coach.

Securing the teenager's signature is significant for Chelsea, who rejected several bids from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich earlier this year.

The German giants made their interest known in January, reportedly leading Hudson-Odoi to submit a transfer request, and are said to have returned with a reduced £22.5million (€25.4m) offer as the winger entered the final 12 months of his previous deal.

Chelsea resisted Bayern's interest and have now tied the talented homegrown prospect to an agreement reportedly worth upwards of £100,000 per week.

"It's an amazing feeling," Hudson-Odoi told Chelsea's official website. "It's been a long wait but it's done now and I'm really happy about that. I've been a Chelsea player since I was eight and this is the right club for me to be at.

"I want to lift as many trophies as possible, win as many games as possible and contribute to as many goals as I can as well. As a team, we just want to work hard to achieve the best results we can.

"I'm delighted everything has been agreed and now I'm just looking forward to properly getting back."

Hudson-Odoi had to be patient before forcing his way into former boss Maurizio Sarri's starting XI in April, only for a ruptured Achilles to end his season in the same month.

The 18-year-old earned made his return in an Under-23 game against Brighton and Hove Albion last week and is nearing a return to first-team action.

England manager Gareth Southgate handed Hudson-Odoi his first senior international cap against Czech Republic in March.

"I have seen Callum come through and he's a fantastic talent," Lampard said. "He is going to be central for us on the pitch and that is the opportunity in front of him now.

"There are things as a young player that he will want to improve but he can be central to this team and for England. I want to work with him, I want to drive him forward and I want to improve him as a player.

"Callum can show, right here at Chelsea, the club he came through the academy at, that he is going to be a world-class player because I truly believe that."

It has been reported the Blues are also looking to tie down Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham to extended new deals.

Ross Barkley said his penalty miss in Chelsea's 1-0 defeat to Valencia would not have kept him from taking another spot-kick because he swiftly brushed off the disappointment.

Frank Lampard's men fell behind to Rodrigo Moreno's 74th-minute strike in the Champions League clash at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, and the Blues boss sent Barkley on as a substitute six minutes later.

The England international had been on the field for just seven minutes when his side won a penalty and he stepped up despite Willian and Jorginho both appearing to stake their claims to take it.

Barkley's spot-kick grazed the top of the crossbar on its way over and Chelsea began their European campaign with a defeat, but the midfielder told reporters: "If there was another penalty in the game I would have been confident of taking it.

"You can miss penalties. It's not the end of the world.

"We've got five more group games to go that we're aiming to win."

While backing himself to convert penalties in the future, Barkley said his team-mates were not vying to take the kick before he stepped up.

"We've got a lot of good penalty takers in the squad," said Barkley. "On a sheet in the changing room, it says I'm on penalties when I'm on the pitch, otherwise it's Jorginho.

"All players feel confident of taking penalties, but we can all miss them. It's more 'good luck with the penalty' type of thing, encouraging me. They would have been willing to take it as well, but I felt confident.

"They were just encouraging me, encouraging me to score the goal. They are confident of taking penalties as well, but I take penalties every day.

"I don't miss them in training and in pre-season I was scoring penalties. I've missed penalties before, when I was at Everton.

"I'm gutted I missed, but these things happen."

Lionel Messi has his sights on a record set by Real Madrid great Raul when Barcelona face Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, as the Champions League proper gets started for the 2019-20 season.

Barca's talisman is back in their squad for the trip to Germany after missing the start of the campaign with a calf injury and, while he is unlikely to start, few would bet against him having a decisive impact if he does make an appearance.

Reigning champions Liverpool begin their title defence at Napoli in what will surely prove to be a tricky test, although Sadio Mane will be aiming to equal a record set by Didier Drogba.

There will also be Champions League bows in the dugout for Frank Lampard and Sylvinho.

Below, we examine the key data for Tuesday's encounters...

Salzburg v Genk

0 - Salzburg have not lost any of their last 18 home matches in European competition (W14 D4 – including qualifiers), with their most recent defeat at home coming in October 2016 against Nice in the Europa League.

1 - Genk forward Mbwana Samatta scored nine goals in 12 appearances in European competition last season and he also finished with 23 goals in the Belgian top flight in 2018-19. Should he play in this match, he will be the first Tanzanian player to make an appearance in the Champions League.

 

Napoli v Liverpool

5 - Napoli have won just one of their past six European meetings with English clubs, losing the other five in this run and failing to score in the most recent three. That one victory was against Liverpool last season, though.

15 - Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has scored 14 goals in 24 Champions League appearances. Should he score in his next outing, he will equal Didier Drogba's record of needing just 25 appearances to score his first 15 goals in the competition, a record for any African player.

 

Inter v Slavia Prague

20 - Inter will be making their 20th appearance in the Champions League/European Cup – only Juventus (34) and AC Milan (28) have had more among Italian sides (including 2019-20).

24 - Inter forward Alexis Sanchez has been involved in 24 goals (12 goals, 12 assists) in his 52 Champions League appearances, but none of these involvements came in six games in the competition for Manchester United, the club he left on loan last month.

 

Borussia Dortmund v Barcelona

33 - Lionel Messi has scored against 32 of the 37 different opponents he has faced in the Champions League. Should he score against Dortmund, the Barcelona star will equal the competition's record for different teams scored against, set by Raul (33 clubs).

2 - Borussia Dortmund have won just two of their past eight Champions League home matches (D2 L4), losing their most recent match 1-0 against Tottenham in the last 16 in 2018-19.

 

Lyon v Zenit

1 - Lyon boss Sylvinho will manage in the Champions League for the first time, also becoming the first non-Frenchman to take charge of the club in Europe's elite competition. The Brazilian made 32 Champions League appearances as a player for Barcelona, Celta Vigo and Arsenal, scoring three goals.

58 - Zenit captain Branislav Ivanovic could make his first Champions League appearance since March 2016 (for Chelsea) in this match. He has made 58 appearances in the competition; only Dejan Stankovic (87) and Predrag Djordjevic (62) have made more among Serbian players.

 

Benfica v RB Leipzig

10 - Benfica are Portugal's sole representative in the 2019-20 Champions League, making it the first time in a decade that there is only one Portuguese club in the competition.

3 - Timo Werner scored three goals from just seven shots on target in the Champions League back in 2017-18, more than any other RB Leipzig player. He went on to net seven times in European competition that term, the highest total by an RB Leipzig player in a single season.

 

Ajax v Lille

6 - Ajax won six games in the 2018-19 Champions League, as many as they did in their previous four participations in the competition.

11 - Including qualifiers, Lille have not won any of their past 11 European matches in all competitions (D6 L5) and scored only five goals in these games.

 

Chelsea v Valencia

102 - Frank Lampard will take charge of a Champions League game for the first time in his managerial career. As a Chelsea player, he made 102 appearances in the competition and is one of only 22 players to have played 100 games or more in the tournament with the same club.

2 - Valencia have reached the Champions League in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2012-13 (three in a row), which was also the last time they made it to the knockout stages of the competition, before being beaten by Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16.

Frank Lampard has no set expectations for Tammy Abraham this season but believes the Chelsea striker has given himself every opportunity of earning an England call-up.

Abraham scored a hat-trick in a 5-2 win over Wolves on Saturday, taking his tally of Premier League goals to the season for seven, with all of them coming in Chelsea's last three outings.

The forward missed out on Gareth Southgate's most recent England squad, though he has since moved level with Sergio Aguero at the top of the Premier League scoring charts.

Abraham is also eligible for Nigeria should he decide to snub an England call-up, though Lampard is certain the 21-year-old has the mentality to succeed if he is selected by Gareth Southgate.

Chelsea's head coach also insists he always had full faith in the youngster to lead the line this term regardless of their transfer ban.

"I never had clear expectations for him, only that I believed in him and trusted him," Lampard told a news conference ahead of Chelsea's Champions League meeting with Valencia on Tuesday.

"A lot has been made of the [transfer] ban giving young players the potential opportunities, but I thought the time was right to give Tammy the opportunity at this club anyway because of the quality he's got.

"I'm really delighted he's got his goals, there's more still to come. He's in a place now where he just needs to sustain and improve even more, and I think with his mentality and how he is I hope to see that.

When asked about Abraham's England chances, Lampard said: "It's not a question for me.

"I've just spoken about how I feel about Tammy. He's put himself in the bracket for England with being top scorer at this point.

"It's one for Gareth, I'd hate to step on his toes but it's clear with what Tammy is doing he's going to be wanted."

Prior to this season, Abraham had spent the past three campaigns out on loan at Bristol City, Swansea City and Aston Villa, respectively.

Once dubbed the 'German Messi', Marko Marin has found his home at boyhood club Red Star Belgrade.

Marin's European odyssey has taken him to Borussia Monchengladbach, Werder Bremen, Premier League giants Chelsea, Sevilla, Fiorentina, Anderlecht, Trabzonspor and Olympiacos.

Now, in Belgrade – less than a three-hour drive from where Marin was born in the Bosnian city of Gradiska – the 30-year-old attacker is playing a key role in restoring the global reputation of 1991 European Cup champions Red Star, having disappeared off the radar.

"Even more for me, with my childhood club because I'm a fan from a kid," Marin, a league winner with Red Star and Olympiacos, told Omnisport as he reflected on Red Star's Champions League qualification. "To play Champions League with them is even more special. It's a very nice experience to bring the Champions League back to Serbia after so many years."

Born in Bosnia-Herzegovina to Bosnian Serb parents in 1989, Marin – a Europa League winner with Chelsea (2013) and Sevilla (2014) moved to Germany at the age of two and 16 international caps for his new country followed.

Marin waited for calls from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia but they were not forthcoming as he opted for Germany – he was rewarded with a spot in Joachim Low's 2010 World Cup squad after impressing for Bremen.

While he represented Die Mannschaft, Marin's love for Serbian powerhouse Red Star – who snapped a 26-year drought from Europe's premier club competition last term – runs deep and a second successive season of Champions League football means a lot to the club captain.

"It's different because you play with more passion for the club," Marin said when asked about the satisfaction of qualifying. "You always give everything for the club you represent because it's your job and love football. But it's different if you play for the club you really loved as a kid.

"We have many players in the team like this. The foreign players maybe give us more quality but the main group of the team and the strength – when you grow up as a Red Star fan, many of them trained in the youth team. It's a bit different to play Champions League for Chelsea or Werder Bremen for example."

"After every game, Belgrade and Serbia is so happy and even kids outside of the country," he said. "I grew up in Germany and I was a fan of Red Star and when I went with my friends to school, you would always talk and I said that I'm a Red Star fan but they didn't really know. But now, Red Star are playing in the biggest competition in Europe. You make Red Star big again. They're getting used to it. This is a motivation.

"For sure this season, we will make some good games. Even qualifying for the group stage is a big, big success. If you compare with Manchester City, Barcelona or Real Madrid, their aim is to win the Champions League... ours is to qualify first."

Marin arrived at Red Star from Greek giants Olympiacos prior to the side's 2018-19 Champions League group-stage campaign involving eventual champions Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli.

One of the game's most promising talents a decade ago, Marin's switch from Piraeus to Belgrade last year barely made the news outside of Serbia. What could have been is a question often asked about the Bosnian-born German. But what does he think about his career?

"It's a fantastic career," Marin replied. "I played in nearly every big league for the biggest teams. When I was at Bremen, we played for the title and in the Champions League. At Chelsea, I don't have to explain how big this team is and Sevilla.

"Maybe it could be better, for sure. There are some reasons. Maybe I wasn't patient enough in some situations. Injuries didn't help to make it even bigger. But I wouldn't have this experience with Red Star if this didn't happen. I'm very happy with my career. To feel this what I feel at the moment, it's the best part of my career."

Marin, who joined Chelsea on a five-year deal from Bremen in 2012, added: "Who knows what would've happened if I stayed longer in Germany? The experience to play for Chelsea was amazing. To play alongside the best players, the professionals. [Frank] Lampard, [John] Terry – these leaders. How they train every day and the passion and quality. I saw this for the first time in Chelsea. I played before with very good players but that was another level."

Fast forward to this season and Marin's Red Star are preparing to welcome Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, 2019 Champions League runners-up Tottenham and Olympiacos to Rajko Mitic Stadium – also known as the Marakana – in Group B.

Red Star will be relying on their fanatical and daunting home support in the Serbian capital, where Liverpool lost 2-0 in November – one of four defeats for last season's champions in the 2018-19 competition – as Vladan Milojevic's men eye a third-place finish.

"It's difficult for teams coming here because they don't know, they can't expect this," Marin said. "Before last season's game against Liverpool in the news conference I said you will see it's completely different. I know Anfield is amazing with a big crowd, but it's totally different to what they experienced in Belgrade. You cannot explain it.

"They go to warm-up and the stadium is already full. We were waiting to come out of this big, long tunnel that you don't have anywhere in the world. Then you go out and the stadium is exploding. It's not easy for visiting teams. We play 11 against 11 but when they feel this atmosphere, it's different.

"I hope we can challenge for third place. I'm not sure if would be a surprise if we take some points because people know us and how difficult it is to play at Marakana. Our strength is team work and it's even more so at home. Of course we have quality but the biggest strength is teamwork."

And what about the 'German Messi' tag? "I couldn't change this. It didn't come from me. We all know there's only one Messi and no one is even near him. It wasn't big pressure because I don't think they took it seriously when they compared me to Messi. He is the number one. [Cristiano] Ronaldo is another type of player. Maybe they see it as my ability maybe in one-on-one situations. I take it as a compliment but it's not a real comparison."

Gonzalo Higuain says he is determined to prove his worth to Juventus after being handed another chance at the club.

Higuain, 31, struggled to make an impact during loan spells at AC Milan and Chelsea during the 2018-19 campaign.

Chelsea opted against triggering a purchase option in Higuain's loan and he therefore returned to Serie A and reunited with new Juve head coach Maurizio Sarri.

He was not expected to be given opportunities to start, with Juve boasting forward options including Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic.

However, Higuain has started both Serie A games this term, while he scored a brilliant goal as Juve beat his old club Napoli - where he thrived under Sarri - before the international break.

"I am here to prove my worth," Higuain said on Thursday ahead of this weekend's trip to Fiorentina.

"I wanted to stay from the first day I returned. I am happy to be at Juve, at a big club with a great team and a big fanbase, in a city that I know.

"I don't think about the past, I only have the present and the future in mind. It will be an important season, last year was difficult for me but I still went into double figures and won a Europa League title.

"Now I only think of our season: I have good memories against Fiorentina, I made my Juve debut against them.

"It's never easy at the Franchi, but we must be strong as we know we are and take home the victory. I'm back on the same team as Cris [Ronaldo] after a few years and he's even stronger, more complete and ambitious, I'm happy to play with him again."

Higuain has switched shirt number this term and he believes the move to 21 is helping him turn his fortunes around.

"This is a decision that I made," the attacker added.

"I decided to swap from number nine, although it was available, with the day in which my daughter was born, to take her with me in every game - a choice of the heart, which is bringing me luck."

Chelsea have confirmed talented teenager Billy Gilmour has signed a new four-year contract with the club.

Gilmour, who joined from Rangers at the age of 15, has committed his future to Stamford Bridge through to at least 2023.

The Scotland Under-21 international made his Premier League debut from the bench against Sheffield United last month.

Gilmour's new deal is the latest commitment to young players made by new head coach Frank Lampard.

"It's really exciting for me and my family to sign this four-year deal with the club," the 18-year-old told the official Chelsea website.

"Frank has come in and everyone is buzzing, training is really good and there's a high standard to everything we do.

"There are exciting times ahead and hopefully I can work hard to get more opportunities as well."

Burnley boss Sean Dyche has drawn a line under an incident involving Danny Drinkwater in which the midfielder was reportedly attacked outside a nightclub.

It was claimed the 29-year-old was ejected from a venue in Manchester before being set upon by a group of six people, one of whom was allegedly armed with a blunt object.

Drinkwater, on loan at Burnley from Chelsea until January, damaged his ankle in the altercation and is unable to play in Saturday's Premier League match at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Dyche says he has spoken to Drinkwater about the incident but is not prepared to be overly critical of the player in public as he attempts to help him get his top-flight career back on track.

"The big picture is he is a 29-year-old footballer and nobody wants to get into this situation," Dyche said to club media on Friday. "He knows that. On the other side, he is a human being and we have all been involved in not-so-good times.

"Forget about the footballer. Sometimes people get into scrapes. But he is wise enough and old enough to know not to. You can't just talk about development when it's good news, though. You have to talk: more so if things aren't going well.

"When you take a player in he becomes a part of us. So we will work with Danny and try to help him and, importantly, he has to get himself fit."

At a later news conference, Dyche added: "We spoke, but only stuff about what he needs to do here. That was more the case. It's just common sense.

"He's 29, he understands these situations happen, but he knows it's not good, and equally he's old enough to know how to conduct himself.

"It's just the way it goes sometimes. Life happens."

Drinkwater, who joined Chelsea from Leicester City for a reported £35million fee in 2017, was frozen out of the first team by Maurizio Sarri and allowed to join Burnley by new boss Frank Lampard in order to find regular football.

Dyche, who worked with the player during a loan spell at Watford in 2010-11, said the former Manchester United man must find the right way to channel his "edge".

"I've known of him for quite a while," Dyche said. "I worked with him before at Watford, and he's a genuinely good lad.

"I like players to have an edge about them, but it still has to be channeled in the right way."

On the ankle problem, Dyche added: "It's not serious, it needs to settle down, but it's not serious, although he won't figure this weekend."

When it came to Paul Pogba during the transfer window, Real Madrid and Juventus were the teams on everyone's lips.

Manchester United star Pogba was reportedly keen to leave Old Trafford in search of a new challenge.

However, another team were apparently poised to lure Pogba from the Theatre of Dreams…

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR STOPPED PSG FROM SIGNING POGBA

Neymar prevented Manchester United midfielder Pogba from moving to Paris Saint-Germain, according to Calciomercato.it.

PSG and United reportedly had an agreement in place for the transfer of Pogba, however, the Ligue 1 champions and their inability to offload Barcelona target Neymar stopped the deal.

The report says PSG were ready to pay €150million (£134m) for Pogba, who joined United from Juventus in 2016 for a then-record fee of €105m (£89m).

 

ROUND-UP

Real Madrid have an agreement with Chelsea for midfielder N'Golo Kante. DefensaCentral claims Los Blancos have the first chance to buy the France star should he be made available at Stamford Bridge.

- In-demand Dinamo Zagreb star Dani Olmo wants to leave the Croatian club in January or at the end of the season, according to Fichajes.net. The 21-year-old was linked with Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and Valencia during the transfer window.

Juventus have not given up on signing Fiorentina and Italy forward Federico Chiesa, according to Calciomercato.it. The Serie A champions were keen to bring in Chiesa during the off-season but were unable to lure him from Florence.

- Sport says Paris Saint-Germain are beginning their remodelling job, with Thiago Silva and Edinson Cavani facing uncertain futures. Silva and Cavani – who has been linked to incoming MLS outfit Inter Miami – are out of contract at the end of the season and are no guarantees to renew their contracts. Eric Maxim Choupo-MotingThomas Meunier and Layvin Kurzawa are available at the right price in January.

- Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic has turned down a move to Qatari outfit Al-Gharafa, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. Mandzukic was linked to Manchester United prior to the transfer window closing.

David Beckham and Inter Miami have set their sights on Lionel Messi.

Messi, 32, has regularly been linked with one day switching to MLS and it appears Inter are making their move.

Beckham seems to be trying his best to land the Barcelona superstar.

 

TOP STORY – BECKHAM IN TALKS WITH MESSI OVER INTER MIAMI MOVE

Beckham has spoken to Messi about joining Inter Miami, according to Catalunya Radio.

It comes in the wake of reports the forward can leave Barcelona at the end of any season, regardless of when his contract runs until.

The economic bid for Messi would be "brutal", the report said, as Inter look to sign the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

 

ROUND-UP

- Inter Miami may not stop there. The MLS club, due to begin playing in 2020, are also eyeing Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane, according to AS. Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti has previously said he is open to coaching Inter Miami.

- After the latest transfer saga ended with Neymar staying at Paris Saint-Germain, it is set to come back to life in January. PSG sporting director Leonardo wants the Brazil international to leave the Ligue 1 champions, according to Tuttosport, and a move could happen in January, with Barcelona and Real Madrid sure to again be linked.

- Barcelona are already looking ahead and are set to track Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz throughout this season, Mundo Deportivo reports. Fabian joined the Serie A side from Real Betis for a reported €30million in July last year.

- Expecting their transfer ban to be cut, Chelsea have identified Nice defender Youcef Atal as a target, according to The Sun. The Algeria international is also wanted by Valencia, Calciomercato.com reports.

- AC Milan have identified Stade Rennes teenager Eduardo Camavinga as a player to follow, according to Calciomercato.com. The 16-year-old made seven Ligue 1 appearances last season.

- Gonzalo Higuain is continuing to turn around his career at Juventus. Calciomercato.com says the forward – linked with a move away throughout the close season – will start alongside Cristiano Ronaldo when the Serie A champions face Fiorentina on Saturday.

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