West Ham have reportedly set an ambitious transfer window target by eyeing an England international.

Whether Chelsea can be tempted to let Ross Barkley leave Stamford Bridge remains to be seen.

According to reports, the Blues are reluctant to let David Moyes be reunited with his former Everton protege.

 

TOP STORY – MOYES TO MOVE FOR ENGLAND STAR BARKLEY?

New  West Ham  manager David Moyes is said to be targeting Chelsea's England midfielder Ross Barkley for a transfer-window switch across London. 

The Mirror reports the Hammers want to take Barkley on loan, but that Chelsea have given them no encouragement as yet. 

Barkley, who began his career playing for Moyes at Everton, started Chelsea's last match, the Premier League win over Burnley.

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Atletico Madrid still want to bring Edinson Cavani to LaLiga, but negotiations with Paris Saint-Germain look complicated given each club's valuation of the Uruguayan striker. Marca reports Atletico have offered €10million and that PSG are seeking €30million for a player who is in the final six months of his contract.

- Dinamo Zagreb's rising star Dani Olmo could be on his way to Milan, according to Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti, which claims a €30m offer has been lodged. Spanish winger Olmo has impressed in the Champions League this year and won a first international cap. He was also linked with Barcelona earlier this month, but that interest has reportedly waned.

- Former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez  looks set to join MLS outfit LA Galaxy in the coming days. The LA Times reports talks between the Galaxy and Hernandez have taken place this week, with a view to bringing in the Mexican forward from LaLiga side Sevilla. The deal could see the Galaxy break their transfer record, which currently stands at a reported $7m for the signing of Giovani dos Santos four-and-a-half years ago.

- Gianluca Di Marzio claims Roma and Milan have opened talks over a swap deal involving Cengiz Under and Suso.

Sevilla look to have the ideal replacement for 'Chicarito' on the way, with 22-year-old Moroccan forward Youssef En-Nesyri reported to have agreed to join from Leganes. AS reports Sevilla will pay his €20m release clause, with a medical due to take place on Thursday before a possible debut against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.

Inter are still waiting on possible deals for Tottenham's Christian Eriksen and Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud, with sporting director Piero Ausilio quoted by Corriere dello Sport as saying there was "no news" to report as he arrived back in Italy on Wednesday evening. "There are no updates," Ausilio said. "We trust the work we are doing with our coach and our players. If there is the possibility of improving the team even more, we will do it."

Bruno Fernandes is seemingly set for Manchester United, but just whether a deal can be done appears uncertain.

Fernandes, 25, has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford from Sporting CP in January.

But there are contrasting reports over the status of a potential deal as United look to strengthen amid an injury crisis.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD SET TO COMPLETE FERNANDES SIGNING

Manchester United are set to sign Fernandes for £60million (€70m) by the end of the week, according to The Sun.

However, the Daily Mail reports United are offering £50m (€58.4m) plus £10m (€11.7m) in add-ons and Sporting want £64m (€74.7m) up front.

Meanwhile, Fernandes has told Sporting he wants to make the move this month, according to The Telegraph, while reports in Portugal suggest Marcos Rojo could return to Lisbon as part of the deal.

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- Inter and Tottenham started talks over Christian Eriksen on Monday, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. The Serie A giants are reportedly hoping to land the midfielder for €10m (£8.6m) as his contract expires at the end of the season.

- John Stones has emerged as a transfer target for Arsenal. The Sun reports Mikel Arteta is targeting the Manchester City defender, even if it is a loan move. Stones has played just 10 Premier League games this season.

- With Harry Kane set to be sidelined until at least April, Tottenham are eyeing a forward. The Independent claims Milan's Krzysztof Piatek and Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani are options for Spurs this month.

- Another surprise target for Tottenham has emerged. Gazzetta dello Sport says Fernando Llorente could be set for a return to the Premier League club, having left at the end of last season and signed with Napoli.

- Inter are close to completing a deal for Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud, according to the Daily Mail. The report says Giroud has already agreed personal terms with Inter, who are set to pay between €5.3m (£4.5m) and €7.6m (£6.5m) for the Frenchman.

- Moves are expected at San Siro this month and Gianluca Di Marzio understands Roma have entered the race for Inter's Matteo Politano following Nicolo Zaniolo's serious knee injury.

Frank Lampard acknowledged discussions have taken place for Olivier Giroud to leave Chelsea but insists a decision has still yet to be made amid reports he has agreed to join Inter.

World Cup winner Giroud has found playing time limited at Stamford Bridge this season due to the form of Tammy Abraham, making just two Premier League starts.

It has been claimed the France international has agreed terms with Serie A leaders Inter on a two-and-a-half-year deal, a switch that would see him reunited with ex-Blues boss Antonio Conte.

Lampard said the move is "not necessarily" dependent on Chelsea signing a replacement first and the former Arsenal frontman will only leave if it suits all parties.

"I said it after our last game, with Oli the situation is if it's right for everybody and, first and foremost that's us the club because he's under contract, then we'll look at it he can leave the club," Chelsea coach Lampard said. 

"He's been a great professional and trained well despite limited games, I have a lot of respect for him. I still have to take a decision. 

"Everyone is talking about it so I won't beat around the bush, I think his agent has spoken to the club, but until it's signed it's not done."

Ousmane Dembele has been tipped to join Chelsea in the January transfer window but Lampard is surprised to see the Lyon striker so heavily linked with the London club. 

"He is a player I know, and the club knows. But it is a surprise for his name to pop up so much when it's not as much in my conversations so regularly to be brutally honest," added Lampard, who said nothing is close in terms of incomings. 

"At the moment we are working very hard on the training ground. I don't want to cut and dry on anyone, but it is not one we are talking about.”

Lampard revealed Christian Pulisic is set for a spell on the sidelines with an adductor issue ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Burnley.

"Pulisic is out, he will be out for a few weeks," he said. "It's an injury in the adductor, a tendon injury. 

"It's disappointing for us, we have to see how quickly he recovers, it's quite a nasty injury, he was in pain when it happened. 

"It is a damaging miss because he's a good player and we need competition in wide areas and he was in good form. Before Christmas he reported a bit of tiredness and we relied on him a lot. 

"I was worried about injury, I'm not a mind reader or psychic but it happened. It's disappointing because he's a talented player who can make things happen."

Lampard also said Antonio Rudiger has been in good spirits in training after an investigation by the Metropolitan Police into accusations of racism towards the Germany defender during last month's contest at Tottenham was closed without anyone being charged.

"Toni's been in very good form and spirits this week in training," Lampard said. "He knows I'm there for him. 

"It's been investigated nothing more to say, I support all my players in that situation."

Callum Hudson-Odoi took a significant step forward in Chelsea's FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest, but Frank Lampard has no doubt there is more to come.

Chelsea beat Championship side Forest 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, with Hudson-Odoi opening the scoring before Ross Barkley also found the back of the net.

Lampard suggested in his pre-match news conference that the Blues may have been expecting too much of the 19-year-old winger, who returned from five months out with a ruptured Achilles in September.

Hudson-Odoi has struggled for form since then, but Lampard was impressed by his display against Forest.

"It was a good performance. I was pleased to see him high up the pitch, pleased to see him being aggressive in how he gets at people, which is what he is there for. He gets his goal with a great strike," said Lampard.

"It has been an interesting 12 months for him considering how young he is, when you take that into account. Last year everyone was talking about him for different reasons. He gets a terrible injury, he comes back very early and when he did come back there were issues getting him tip top.

"This was a nice step forward for him. Next time it will be, 'Can you do more?'

"When you are a player of speed and sharpness, when you have an injury like that it can be slightly held back. There is a lot of strength work he needs to do – stuff on the pitch and in the gym now we're getting him towards the point where he has that acceleration.

"As a player he is 19 and he has had that injury so there is a lot more to come from him."

Danny Drinkwater has returned from an unsuccessful loan to Burnley and Lampard said it was "a possibility" he could head straight back out in another temporary switch.

The future of Olivier Giroud, an unused substitute against Forest with Michy Batshuayi deputising for the rested Tammy Abraham, also remains up in the air.

Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Lyon have been linked with Giroud and Lampard did not rule out the France international leaving the club.

"There's no update on Oli and my answer remains the same as it has done recently," added the Chelsea head coach.

"I have spoken with him. If the conditions are that it is something Oli really wants to do and it works for the club and for me and the squad, then it's something that could happen.

"But it's only when all three bases are covered. So, we're still there."

Olivier Giroud will only leave Chelsea if it is to the benefit of the club and does not leave the Blues short, assistant coach Jody Morris suggested.

France international Giroud has found playing time limited under Frank Lampard this season, racking up just 191 minutes in the Premier League thus far after finding himself behind Tammy Abraham in the pecking order.

Giroud previously stated he may leave Stamford Bridge as he aims to play regular football ahead of Euro 2020 and there have been suggestions the ex-Arsenal striker could be used as a makeweight in Chelsea's reported pursuit of Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha.

However, Morris – who praised Giroud's professionalism amid the uncertainty – was clear Chelsea will only sell if it makes sense for the squad.

"He still plays for Chelsea. It has got to be for the benefit of the club," said Morris, who was on pre-match media duties for Sunday's FA Cup third-round tie with Nottingham Forest as Lampard battles a bug.

"We can't just let people walk out the door of the club if that means we're left short somewhere.

"Sometimes you have to look at the individual as well and if it is beneficial for them to be here or be happy.

"I've got to say Giroud has been nothing but a class act and top professional since he's been here. I don't envisage there being any problems along those lines."

Chelsea have been tipped to be busy in the January window after having a transfer ban reduced on appeal, with Zaha, Lyon striker Moussa Dembele and Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho among those having been tipped with a switch to Stamford Bridge.

Morris says work is going on behind the scenes but any incomings must be able to improve the squad.

"There's a couple of areas you'd be looking at but it will all depend on what the movements are from within the club as well," he added. 

"I'm not as privy to those conversations as the manager is but I'm sure there's a little bit of work going on behind the scenes. 

"Any movements or anybody brought in or going out the door will need to be for the benefit of the club and improve the squad. 

"There isn't any point in bringing anybody in that isn't going to improve us and I know that the manager and powers that be are looking at those."

Morris was also quizzed about a social-media post appearing to mock now Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho in November.

Then working as a pundit for Sky Sports, former Chelsea manager Mourinho said he had concerns over how Lampard's squad would fare against the Premier League's better teams following a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Morris replied to a clip of Mourinho's comments with the post "Jose is still worried" alongside three laughing emojis, but he insists his intentions were misconstrued.

"A lot of people misread my laughing at Jose's comments," Morris said when asked about the post. "Listen, I've got nothing but the utmost respect for Jose.

"He's an absolute legend and one of the best managers in the game. I personally was just laughing at the fact that he was worried whether we would be winning that much.

"I don't think he's that bothered whether we're winning that much. And neither should he be, as a pundit."

Mino Raiola holds all the cards when it comes to Manchester United's transfer plans.

United are interested in Salzburg sensation Erling Haaland, while Paul Pogba wants to reportedly leave Old Trafford.

With that in mind, the Red Devils may be forced to pick between the two.

 

TOP STORY – HAALAND IN, POGBA OUT?

Manchester United are worried signing Salzburg striker Erling Haaland may force Paul Pogba out of the club, according to the Daily Star. 

United are interest in-demand sensation Haaland, who has also been linked to Juventus, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig

Haaland is represented by Mino Raiola, who is also the agent of United star Pogba – previously linked to former club Juve and LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

United fear Raiola could throw a spanner in the works as doubts remain over Pogba's future in Manchester.

 

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- Premier League champions Manchester City have identified Villarreal's Pau Torres and Benfica centre-back Ruben Dias as possible defensive reinforcements in January, reports The Telegraph.

- Express Sport says Chelsea are unwilling to meet Dortmund's £100million (€117m) valuation of star Jadon Sancho, who has also been linked to United, Liverpool and Madrid. Chelsea are believed to be keeping tabs on Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha and Leipzig striker Timo Werner.

Arsenal pair Mesut Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi could leave Arsenal in January, reports Football London. Turkish giants Fenerbahce have emerged as a possible destination for Ozil.

Rangers have made contact with out-of-favour Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud over a possible move to Glasgow, according to L'Equipe.  Coming off contract at the end of the season, Giroud has also been linked to Inter.

Arsenal appear to have strengthened their interest in Nuno Espirito Santo.

Just over two weeks after dismissing Unai Emery, the Gunners are reportedly ready to hold talks with one of the top contenders to take over at Emirates Stadium.

But the Portuguese is not alone when it comes to candidates with Premier League experience.

 

TOP STORY – GUNNERS STEP UP NUNO CHASE

Arsenal will ask Wolves for permission to conduct formal discussions with Nuno next week, according to the Daily Mail.

The north Londoners are reportedly ready to "set to accelerate their interest" in the 45-year-old former Valencia and Porto head coach.

Belgium boss Robert Martinez is also said to have been approached, while Mauricio Pochettino, Mikel Arteta and Patrick Vieira continue to be linked.

Freddie Ljungberg has overseen two draws, a defeat and a solitary victory since taking charge on an interim basis.

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- Like his former employers, ex-Arsenal boss Emery will not be rushed into a decision on his next move. Marca says the Spaniard has turned down the chance to speak to two Chinese clubs and managerless Everton since becoming a free agent on November 29.

- Premier League champions Manchester City hope to bring wantaway winger Jadon Sancho back to the Etihad Stadium after losing him to Borussia Dortmund in 2017, reports the Daily Mail.

- On the outer at Chelsea, Olivier Giroud appears to be moving closer to the Stamford Bridge exit door. L'Equipe claims the France striker is close to agreeing personal terms on a January switch to Inter, where he would reunite with Antonio Conte.

- Serie A side Milan will be offered the chance to sign Luka Jovic on loan from Real Madrid in January, according to Tuttomercatoweb.

- Barcelona will listen to offers of €10million for teenage defender Jean-Clair Todibo, reports Mundo Deportivo. The Spanish newspaper claims Bayer Leverkusen, Milan, Monaco, Southampton and Watford have submitted bids.

- Real Betis have sealed a deal to sign former Atletico Madrid winger Yannick Carrasco from Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang, according to Deportes Cuatro.

Frank Lampard has no plans to discuss the respective futures of Olivier Giroud, Willian and Pedro before January as the trio prepare to enter the final six months of their Chelsea contracts.

Having had their transfer and registration embargo ended by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), Chelsea are free to sign new players in January and look set to be active.

Many expected this season to be tough for the Blues given their inability to bring in new recruits in pre-season, but they have surpassed expectations under Lampard and are fourth after 16 matches.

Supporters' outlooks might become more ambitious following the embargo's end, with several areas of Chelsea's squad seemingly in need of reinforcements.

While that could see some of the club's more experienced campaigners shown the door, Lampard insists no such decisions will be made until next month when the transfer window reopens.

Asked if he had spoken to Giroud about his future, Lampard said: "No. All the players that are here, I won't have any talk about January until we get to January. Everybody.

"I am happy for him to stay, as with every player in the squad. I want them to be here for Chelsea, have the right professionalism and right desire to be here.

"He has shown me that in his training every day this season. That's what I am happy with."

On the subject of Willian and Pedro entering the final months of their deals, Lampard added: "It is always an issue for the club as well as myself.

"I obviously, as the manager, have full conversations upstairs. There's a money side and a playing side, so I want players who want to be here and perform well for us.

"I think they both have done that over their careers here. So, that's simple from my point of view. I want good players here."

One player heavily linked with a move to Chelsea in January is Bournemouth's Nathan Ake.

The Dutch defender joined Bournemouth - who visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday - from the Blues in 2017, but Chelsea retained a buy-back clause reportedly worth £40million in the deal.

Lampard seemed unmoved by the significance of the clause, though he acknowledged they should look to bring new players in if they can.

He added: "I don't know how clever it [the buy-back clause] is - it is what it is.

"Nathan came through here and, when he has gone to Bournemouth to be able to play regular football, I think he has done fantastically well. He has shown himself as a really good defender in the Premier League.

"In terms of the back four and with the defence I have, I am very happy. Again, it [signings] won't be anything I consider until I feel otherwise, and at the minute, we can do no business.

"I am happy with the squad, but we have to improve if we can. It is not just my business; in the modern day, since I have been in management and at most clubs, it is a joint-effort. I can put forward a lot and we will work together.

"I will recommend players that can improve us, fit with the style and the way we want to go and come in really hungry. I want people who come here wanting to win and to be a Chelsea player."

World Cup winner Olivier Giroud was left out of Chelsea's matchday squad to face Everton on Saturday.

The Blues were unchanged for the clash at Goodison Park but France international Giroud, an unused substitute against Aston Villa in midweek having started the previous game against West Ham, was not among the replacements.

Giroud's place on the bench went to Ross Barkley, who has recovered from illness and could feature against his former club.

With Chelsea now able to sign players in January after their transfer ban was halved on Friday, Giroud appears to be heading closer to the exit door.

Duncan Ferguson, appointed as Everton's caretaker manager following the sacking of Marco Silva on Thursday, made two changes to the Toffees' starting XI as Theo Walcott and Morgan Schneiderlin came in.

Yerry Mina, who picked up a hamstring injury in the 5-2 Merseyside derby loss to Liverpool, and Tom Davies both dropped out of the team.

Christian Eriksen is back on Manchester United's transfer radar.

The Red Devils are said to be preparing a January bid for the Tottenham midfielder, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

Eriksen reportedly turned down a move to Old Trafford earlier this year.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED REIGNITE ERIKSEN INTEREST

Could Jose Mourinho unintentionally do his old employers another favour?

Tottenham lost to United in midweek and are now about to receive an offer for playmaker Eriksen from their Premier League rivals, reports The Mirror.

The Denmark international has not featured in the starting XI since Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino and, though he prefers a move abroad, might have a decision to make when the transfer window reopens.

Seemingly not convinced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side a few months ago, Eriksen can sign a pre-contract agreement with clubs overseas from January.

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- Leicester City are set to hand in-demand manager Brendan Rodgers a bumper new deal in a bid to end interest from Arsenal, according to The Telegraph.

- David Moyes wants a long-term commitment from Everton before agreeing to a second stint in charge at Goodison Park, says The Sun.

- Contrary to recent reports, ESPN suggests Patrick Vieira is not at the top of Arsenal's shortlist of potential managers.

- Error-riddled Roberto's ill-fated period as a Premier League goalkeeper could soon be over. The Guardian reports West Ham will look to sell or loan the Spaniard in January, with Turkey a likely destination, as they pursue stronger competition for the injured Lukasz Fabianski.

- Serie A side  Milan have offered Zlatan Ibrahimovic a contract that could run for 18 months and will demand an answer from his agent Mino Raiola next week, claims CalcioMercato.

- Diego Simeone wants Atletico Madrid to prioritise signing a striker over Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, according to AS. The Spanish newspaper links Krzysztof Piatek, Andrea Belotti of Torino, Chelsea centre-forward Olivier Giroud and Valencia's Rodrigo with moves to the Wanda Metropolitano.

- Staying with Atletico and the Rojiblancos have entered the race for rumoured Juventus, Inter and Borussia Dortmund target Sandro Tonali, says CalcioMercato. Tonali, 19, is in his third season in Brescia's first-team squad.

Real Madrid have made Fabian Ruiz their top transfer target.

According to reports, "negotiations have accelerated" as the Spanish heavyweights aim to take advantage of the disarray at Napoli.

But the midfielder also has high-profile admirers in England and France.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID STEP UP FABIAN INTEREST

Napoli midfielder Fabian is a man in demand.

Madrid appear to be in pole position, with Cadena SER claiming the Spanish giants are "very serious" about taking the 23-year-old to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Negotiations over a contract extension at Napoli are said to have stopped and the Spain international is reportedly warm to the idea of joining up with Zinedine Zidane's side.

However, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain could look to force a three-way bidding war for the Spain international, who has previously been linked to Barcelona.

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- Ex-Valencia head coach Marcelino has emerged as a left-field managerial candidate for Arsenal and Everton, according to the Daily Mail. The 54-year-old lost his job at the Mestalla in September following a reported falling out with owner Peter Lim.

- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fears he will be sacked if Manchester United lose their next two games against Tottenham and bitter rivals City, says The Sun.

- Former Premier League striker-turned-reporter Jan Aage Fjortoft claims Liverpool are favourites to land Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho – but the winger will cost the Premier League leaders €130million.

- Chelsea have offered little-used striker Olivier Giroud to Serie A sides Milan and Inter, according to CalcioMercato.

Barcelona are keeping tabs on 16-year-old PSG midfielder Edouard Michut, reports Le Parisien.

Aaron Cresswell scored a goal any full-back would be proud of as West Ham ended their seven-game Premier League winless streak by beating Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.

The Hammers became only the second side to win at Chelsea in the league this season and Frank Lampard's side, who lost at Manchester City a week prior, could have few complaints about the result.

With Tammy Abraham sidelined and N'Golo Kante among the substitutes, Chelsea lacked a cutting edge in attack and guile in midfield as West Ham's Mark Noble and Declan Rice were given the run of the park.

Cresswell scored the winner early in the second half and West Ham could have extended their lead before surviving a late rally from the hosts to secure their first victory since they beat Manchester United on September 22 and provide a lift to under-fire manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Mason Mount drove Chelsea forward, surging through midfield with the ball at his feet, and he almost opened the scoring from the edge of the box but slipped as he struck a left-footed drive into the body of David Martin.

Christian Pulisic and Kurt Zouma both fired wide from close range but Chelsea's defensive frailties were in evidence when Robert Snodgrass was given time and space to whip in a cross that Michail Antonio headed into Kepa Arrizabalaga's hands with the goal at his mercy.

Olivier Giroud had the chance to open the scoring three minutes from half-time when Martin parried Mateo Kovacic's shot into his path but the France international's attempt to flick it over the goalkeeper from point-blank range failed miserably, and Pulisic missed blazed over the crossbar just before the interval.

Three minutes into the second half West Ham exploited the ample space afforded to them in Chelsea's half when Pablo Fornals fed Cresswell, who skilfully cut inside Reece James and curled a shot with his weaker right foot into the far corner of the net with Kepa at full stretch.

Kepa had to be alert to save Fabian Balbuena's powerful header just before the hour mark and Antonio had the ball in the net 10 minutes later only for his bundled effort to be ruled out for handball.

Chelsea only began to show the kind of urgency the situation required when Lampard sent on Callum Hudson-Odoi, whose nimble feet on the left wing caused havoc but failed to create a clear chance as the visitors clung on.

What does it mean? No Tammy no whammy

With Abraham sidelined by a hip injury, Chelsea's dynamism in attack amounted to little and West Ham could have scored more against a team that has kept just one clean sheet in eight matches.

The Blues are fourth and with now a six-point gap to Tottenham in fifth.

Snodgrass exploits the gaps

With Kante on the bench to begin with, Chelsea were vulnerable just in front of their back four and it was the experienced Snodgrass who helped West Ham capitalise with his vision and distribution, the Scotland international starting the move that led to Cresswell's opener.

Giroud draws a blank

Lampard looked to Giroud for goal threat and got nothing of the sort, the World Cup-winning striker swinging and missing with what little service came his way.

What's next?

Chelsea are back at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday when Aston Villa are the visitors, while the Hammers are on the road again as they travel to Wolves.

Frank Lampard is confident Chelsea's back-up strikers can step up in the absence of the injured Tammy Abraham. 

Abraham hobbled off in the first half of Wednesday's 2-2 Champions League draw with Valencia after a collision left him clutching his left side, before he was then taken away on a stretcher.

The England international attempted to play down the extent of his injury immediately after the match, but it has been confirmed he will play no part in Saturday's visit of West Ham.

Providing an update at his pre-match news conference on Friday, head coach Lampard said: "He's got some pain, so won't be involved tomorrow and then we'll see by Monday."

Abraham has scored 10 goals in 13 Premier League games this season, compared to a combined one goal in 12 appearances for Michy Batshuayi and Olivier Giroud - although they only have one top-flight start between them.

However, Lampard is backing the duo to show what they can do while Abraham is sidelined.

"It's a squad game over the course of the season," he said. "The lads have been training well no matter how many minutes they're getting. 

"Every day is a work day so when opportunities come they're ready, so I've got all confidence in them."

Pushed on whether Batshuayi will start against out-of-form West Ham, Lampard added: "We'll see.

"It's not easy when you are not playing as many minutes as you want. I have seen a great work ethic and he has quality. It is great to see."

Chelsea have conceded 32 goals in 21 matches this season, with Valencia the latest side to take advantage of the Blues' slack defending in the midweek draw at the Mestalla.

Lampard has reiterated he has no concerns about his backline, however, especially with Antonio Rudiger closing in on a return to action.

"Antonio is getting closer. He is working very hard and it's like a mini pre-season for him now," Lampard said.

"I didn't like our defending in the final 20 minutes against Valencia, but overall I'm not concerned about the defence. We have conceded more than we would have liked.

"In the Premier League you are going to concede goals. There is always room for improvement. We are okay, but we want more."

Are we about to see a Jose Mourinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic reunion?

Mourinho and Ibrahimovic worked together at Inter, before the Portuguese manager brought the Swedish star to Manchester United in 2016.

Now, new Tottenham boss Mourinho is reportedly eyeing the 38-year-old striker.

 

TOP STORY – MOURINHO TARGETING IBRA

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho is poised to make a move for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, according to the Telegraph.

Ibrahimovic is on the lookout for a new club after opting to leave MLS outfit LA Galaxy following two seasons in the United States.

The 38-year-old has been linked to AC Milan, Bologna, Napoli, Manchester United and Australian team Perth Glory; however, Mourinho reportedly wants to reunite with Ibrahimovic at Tottenham.

 

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- Spanish newspaper Sport reports a close friend of Flamengo coach Jorge Jesus predicting he will get the Barcelona job if his side win Saturday's Copa Libertadores final against River Plate, who are led by another reputed Catalan target in Marcelo Gallardo. Ernesto Valverde is under pressure at the LaLiga champions.

Real Madrid are set to open talks with star striker Karim Benzema over a new contract, Marca reports. The 31-year-old's current deal expires in 2021.

- Out-of-favour Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic is wanted by LaLiga's Atletico Madrid, according to ESPN FC. Matic has struggled for game time under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with AC Milan and Inter also interested.

- With Tottenham reportedly looking to hijack AC Milan's pursuit of Ibrahimovic, Sky Sport Italia says the Rossoneri are rivalling Inter and Borussia Dortmund for Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud.

- The Daily Mail reports that Leicester City have opened talks with James Maddison over a new contract. The 22-year-old England international has been heavily linked to Manchester United.

- Partizan Belgrade sensation Strahinja Pavlovic is on the verge of joining Ligue 1 outfit Monaco. Sportski Zurnal says the 18-year-old defender has undergone a medical ahead of a €10million transfer plus add-ons.

Jose Mourinho seemingly has Gareth Bale in his Tottenham plans, but he will have to wait until before the start of next season.

Mourinho was named Spurs head coach on Wednesday, a day after the Premier League club sacked Mauricio Pochettino.

Unsurprisingly, there is plenty of talk around his potential movements in the transfer market – including a Tottenham return for Bale.

 

TOP STORY – MOURINHO EYES BALE, BUT CAN'T SPEND IN JANUARY

Mourinho's arrival at Tottenham offers Bale the perfect escape route from Real Madrid, according to AS.

The star attacker left Spurs for Madrid in 2013, but is set to leave the LaLiga giants at season's end, the report says.

Marca reports Madrid have ruled out a January exit for Bale. That would suit Mourinho, who has been told there is no money to spend in the January window, according to The Guardian.

ROUND-UP

- Mourinho has more pressing matters at Spurs. The Mirror reports Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, who are out of contract at season's end, are intrigued by the prospect of working under Mourinho and are open minded about their futures.

- It could have been different for Spurs. According to the Daily Mail, Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers was Tottenham's first choice before they turned to Mourinho.

- Meanwhile, the sacked Pochettino may not be out of management for too long. Barcelona and Bayern Munich are ready to pounce for the former Spurs manager, according to The Sun. Ernesto Valverde is under pressure at Camp Nou, while interim boss Hansi Flick will coach Bayern until at least the end of the year.

- Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be getting closer to sorting out his future. Sky Sport reports AC Milan spoke to the departing LA Galaxy striker's agent Mino Raiola on Wednesday about the possibility of a return to San Siro.

- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is in no rush to renew his Arsenal contract and with good reason. Sport reports the forward is waiting to find out how serious Barcelona's interest in him is before extending a deal that runs until 2021.

- Needing a striker, Manchester United are considering a January move for Roma's Edin Dzeko, according to ESPN FC. Dzeko has scored five goals in 12 Serie A games this season, and United are looking to finally bolster their attack after losing Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez in the close season.

- Olivier Giroud has made just one Premier League start for Chelsea this season and the striker could be set for a January exit. La Gazzetta dello Sport says Inter are considering a move for Giroud in January as they look for a back-up for Lukaku.

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