Didier Deschamps has joked Frank Lampard should consider playing Olivier Giroud more often for Chelsea in exchange for the France boss leaving N'Golo Kante out of his last squad.

Kante was recalled by Les Blues on Thursday for their upcoming qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey, having been overlooked for selection in September to recover from niggling hamstring and ankle injuries.

Deschamps revealed Lampard has previously spoken to him about not selecting the 28-year-old, who returned to action with 90 minutes against Lille on Wednesday.

However, the World Cup-winning coach wants the favour to be repaid, telling reporters at Thursday's news conference: "Lampard asked me not to pick Kante at the last break.

"If that's still the way I'm going to call him later to tell him it would be nice if you play Olivier Giroud a little bit!"

Giroud is Deschamps' preferred striker but has struggled to get a look in at club level, the 33-year-old playing just 100 minutes of Premier League football this season due to the form of Tammy Abraham.

Deschamps admitted Giroud's lack of playing time for Chelsea could work against him.

"I do not want to take away from what Olivier has done with us," said Deschamps. "He has put in some very good performances, not to mention that he is the third-best active French scorer. However, I hope his situation develops.

"Beyond his efficiency with us, it is a matter of rhythm too. He has already gone through spells where he has played less, but now it is not sufficient physically - he cannot be at his best."

Like Kante, Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe is back in the France squad after missing the wins over Albania and Andorra last month because of a hamstring injury.

Mbappe has featured as a second-half substitute in PSG's last two matches after missing more than a month and Deschamps will take no risks over his fitness.

"Kylian is back from his first significant injury, so the worst is now behind him," said Deschamps. "I am not going to take risks with him, despite our two important matches.

"He has a match with PSG this weekend and then we will see his physical condition. Two 90-minute matches in three days is unlikely."

Martin Odegaard is enjoying a stellar season at Real Sociedad.

On loan from Real Madrid, Odegaard's starring performances are attracting interest from across Europe.

A Norwegian connection at Manchester United could see Odegaard move to Old Trafford.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED WANT ODEGAARD

Manchester United have joined the race to sign in-form Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard, according to The Sun.

Odegaard is currently on loan at LaLiga side Real Sociedad, where the 20-year-old has scored two goals and supplied two assists this term.

The Norway international, who joined Madrid from Stromsgodset in 2015 but only has two appearances to his name for the Spanish giants, has also been linked to Premier League rivals Manchester CityLiverpool and Arsenal.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Daily Mail reports manager Mauricio Pochettino wants to leave struggling Tottenham. It comes after Spurs' season hit a new low following Tuesday's embarrassing 7-2 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich. Former Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has been linked to the London club.

- As doubts grow over Pochettino, The Sun claims ex-Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri will wait until the end of the season before taking a Premier League job. Allegri, who left Serie A champions Juventus at the end of 2018-19, has emerged as a possible target for Tottenham and United.

Arsenal have the chance to sign RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano for £53million (€59.4m) at the end of the season, claims L'Equipe. The Gunners were heavily linked to the 20-year-old during the recent transfer window and they could return for the defender, whose release clause is reportedly set to drop.

- Bayern Munich are interested in Birmingham teenager Jude Bellingham, says The Sun. The 16-year-old has impressed in the Championship this season with two goals in six matches. Bundesliga champions Bayern have an eye on English talent following their unsuccessful pursuit of Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi.

- Sport Bild claims Bayern will "resume talks with Leroy Sane's management in the coming weeks". The Manchester City star was targeted by the German giants before suffering a serious ligament injury in the Community Shield.

- According to Calciomercato, Juventus are hoping to agree a new deal with midfielder Blaise Matuidi. The Frenchman, who was linked with a move away before the transfer window closed, is out of contract at the end of the season. Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports Juve boss Maurizio Sarri is keen on reuniting with Chelsea star N'Golo Kante.

Inter are set to launch a shock January move for Burnley forward Jay Rodriguez, says Calciomercato. Antonio Conte's list of attacking options to add to Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez and Alexis Sanchez reportedly includes Chelsea's Olivier Giroud, Real Madrid striker Luka Jovic, Udinese's Kevin Lasagna and Andrea Petagna of SPAL.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard enjoyed his first Champions League victory as a manager but warned his team: "Now the hard work begins."

A 2-1 victory away to French side Lille made up for some of the disappointment of last month's home defeat to Valencia, and armed Chelsea with points and confidence to take into back-to-back clashes with Ajax.

Tammy Abraham, on his 22nd birthday, and Willian, making his 300th appearance for the club, got Chelsea's goals at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

Victor Osimhen netted a header from a corner to bring Lille level at one stage, and the space he found in the centre of the penalty area was a worry for Lampard.

But there were more positives than negatives from the trip to north-east France for Lampard, who captained the Blues to victory in the 2012 final of this competition.

He said: "It feels really good because this was a really hard place to come, and add to that the pressure from not beating Valencia in the first game.

"We played with three at the back and moved the ball really quickly and we got our goal."

The equaliser irked Lampard who said: "Again, set-pieces. It's something we know we have to improve on. We have to do better, but in terms of the game as a whole we had a lot of possession and created chances away from home.

"Set-pieces are a fact that happen in games, and games can absolutely change on them, and today did a little bit because I felt pretty comfortable in the first half, so we must work maybe more than we are already and turn that corner."

Now Ajax await Chelsea, the Dutch giants and last season's semi-finalists having won 3-0 so far against both Lille and Valencia.

"It'll be really tough and now Ajax have set their stall out, they've started the group really well," Lampard told BT Sport.

"To be on zero points after one game is one thing; to come away tonight against a tough team knowing that every game is going to be tough would have been another.

"It gives us confidence, it gives us points, it gives us a feeling in the group that we're in a better position, but now the hard work begins. Every game is going to be really tough. We have a double-header with Ajax who are playing well so it's on us."

Champions League holders Liverpool face Salzburg for the first time in their history on Wednesday as Jurgen Klopp aims to extend his unbeaten record at Anfield.

The Reds lost 2-0 to Napoli in their opening group fixture, increasing the importance of a result against a Salzburg side that thrashed Genk 6-2.

Exciting teenager Erling Haaland – son of former Premier League defender Alf-Inge Haaland – scored a first-half hat-trick in that match and should be ready for the trip to Merseyside after battling illness.

Barcelona, meanwhile, could have the fit-again Lionel Messi available for their date with Inter, a chance for the star forward to break his duck against the Serie A side.

Elsewhere, Frank Lampard heads to France in search of his maiden Champions League win in charge of Chelsea, while last season's semi-finalists Ajax visit Valencia.

Here is the pick of the key Opta facts for Wednesday's eight matches.

 

Genk v Napoli

6 - Napoli are without a win in their past six away games in the Champions League group stage (W0 D2 L4), last prevailing on the road with a 2-1 defeat of Benfica in December 2016.

13 - Genk have won none of their 13 Champions League matches (W0 D7 L6). Only Irish side Shamrock Rovers and Maltese outfit Floriana have played more games without winning (14 each) in the competition's history.

 

Liverpool v Salzburg

19 - Reds boss Klopp remains unbeaten after 19 matches at Anfield as Liverpool manager (W15 D4 L0). His streak is 10 games shy of Bob Paisley's club record.

2 - Salzburg striker Haaland will attempt to become the second player to score more than once in each of his first two Champions League appearances, Diego Simeone having done so for Atletico Madrid in September 1996.

 

Slavia Prague v Borussia Dortmund

13 - Czech champions Slavia handed out 13 Champions League debuts in their Group F opener, a 1-1 draw at Inter. The only player to feature who had previously appeared in the competition was Nicolae Stanciu.

68 - Dortmund have scored with just two of their past 68 attempts at goal in the Champions League and have been held goalless in five of their six most recent outings.

 

Barcelona v Inter

3 - Barca captain Messi has been directly involved in 15 goals in his past 17 games against Italian teams (12 goals, three assists), but has failed to score in any of his three Champions League meetings with Inter.

2003 - Inter boss Antonio Conte was an unused substitute for Juventus the last time an Italian coach won a Champions League match at Camp Nou, a quarter-final clash in 2003. Marcello Lippi was in charge of the visitors.

 

RB Leipzig v Lyon

5 - Each of Timo Werner's five Champions League goals have been scored away from home. No player has hit more on the road without scoring in their own stadium.

18 - Lyon striker Moussa Dembele is one game away from equalling former AEK Athens midfielder Vassilios Tsiartas' unwanted record for most Champions League appearances without winning, which stands at 18 (set between 1994 and 2003).

 

Zenit v Benfica

9 - Artem Dzyuba has been involved in nine goals in nine Champions League matches for Zenit, scoring six times and registering three assists, including one for Sardar Azmoun in his side's 1-1 draw against Lyon.

10 - Since the start of the 2017-18 season, Benfica have lost more Champions League group stage games (10) than any other team.

 

Lille v Chelsea

8 - Ligue 1 side Lille are winless in eight Champions League home matches since a 3-1 victory over AEK in October 2006, having gone undefeated in their first eight at home.

2 - Frank Lampard is in danger of becoming the second Englishman to lose his first two matches as a manager in the Champions League, after Ray Harford with Blackburn Rovers in September 1995.

 

Valencia v Ajax

2 - Valencia, 1-0 winners at Chelsea in their Group H opener, are looking to start a Champions League campaign with two consecutive victories for the first time since 2006-07, when Quique Sanchez Flores was in charge.

41 - Ajax captain Dusan Tadic has created 41 chances in the Champions League since the start of last season, more than any other player in the same period.

Barcelona are planning for life after Uruguay striker Luis Suarez.

The 32-year-old is highly regarded at Camp Nou, however, he has struggled for form and consistency.

Now, LaLiga champions Barca appear to be lining up a possible replacement.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA READY TO SPEND €50M ON PIATEK

Barcelona are interested in signing AC Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek as a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez, says Calciomercato.it.

Suarez celebrates his 33rd birthday in January and the Barca veteran is showing signs of decline at the LaLiga champions, where he has struggled for form and consistency.

Barca will look to bring in a new face in January, with the Spanish giants ready to spend €50million on Piatek, while RB Leipzig's Timo Werner, Getafe forward Jaime Mata and Juventus veteran Mario Mandzukic have also been linked.

 

ROUND-UP

Juventus have set their sights on three Premier League players – Chelsea's Willian, and Tottenham pair Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld, according to Tuttosport. The trio will be available on free transfers at the end of the season and Eriksen tops Juve's wish list.

- The Daily Mail says Tottenham have opened contract talks with defender Jan Vertonghen. The Belgium international is out of contract at season's end and Spurs are reluctant to lose him on a free transfer.

- AC Milan are interested in signing Nice star Arnaud Lusamba, according to Calciomercato. The 22-year-old midfielder is contracted to the Ligue 1 club until 2021.

Arsenal will send scouts to watch Salzburg and Hungary star Dominik Szoboszlai in Wednesday's Champions League showdown against Liverpool, reports the Daily Mail. The 18-year-old sensation has also attracted interested from Serie A trio Juventus, Inter and Lazio.

- Eredivisie side PSV are interested in signing Manchester United's Tahith Chong on loan in January, according to the Daily Mail. The 19-year-old Dutch winger, who arrived from Feyenoord in 2016, has been involved with the first team under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Christian Pulisic admitted he is "very frustrated" with his lack of playing time under Frank Lampard at the Premier League giants.

Pulisic, 21, was an unused substitute in Chelsea's 2-0 Premier League win over Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

Pulisic moved to Chelsea from Bundesliga runners-up Borussia Dortmund in the off-season amid plenty of hype following a £58million transfer.

However, the United States international has only appeared in one of the club's last five matches – the 7-1 EFL Cup rout of Grimsby Town on Wednesday.

"Yeah, of course, it is very frustrating, but I will continue to work my hardest because I want to play," Pulisic told NBC Sports after Saturday's game.

Asked if he has received advice from head coach Lampard, Pulisic added: "Not so much.

"He said to keep working and I have to improve myself in training and try to get back in the line-up.

"It is not going to be easy here, but it was never going to be easy."

Pulisic has made six appearances in all competitions, with the American star yet to open his account for Chelsea, who are sixth 11 points adrift of runaway leaders Liverpool.

Liverpool's flawless start to their Premier League season continued on Saturday with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Sheffield United thanks to Georginio Wijnaldum's winner.

The Reds were made to battle by the Blades and secured their seventh win in as many games after Dutch midfielder Wijnaldum's shot squirmed through the legs of Blades goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

Chelsea earned Frank Lampard his first league win at Stamford Bridge with a 2-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion, while top-four rivals Tottenham, who were reduced to 10 men, claimed a 2-1 win over Southampton.

Elsewhere, Wolves beat Watford 2-0, Crystal Palace battled to a 2-0 win against Norwich City, and Aston Villa's clash with Burnley and Bournemouth's match against West Ham both finished in 2-2 draws.

KLOPP'S MEN SHOW THEIR GRIT

This was a day when Liverpool had to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in. Sheffield United did not give Jurgen Klopp's side an inch and the German had to squeeze every ounce of effort out of his players.

It was even more acute when Liverpool's front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino seemed to forget where the goal was and errant finishing might have proved costly on another day.

Klopp's side have been renowned for their free-flowing football but they showed a grittier side against dogged opponents at Bramall Lane.

If they are to go one better than last season and beat Manchester City to the title that resilience, especially away from Anfield, is going to be key.

HOME COMFORT FOR LAMPARD

Lampard had gone into this game without a Premier League victory at Stamford Bridge – it was an itch he was absolutely desperate to scratch.

Chelsea thrashed Grimsby 7-1 in the EFL Cup on Wednesday to give Lampard his first win on home soil, but it is the league where the former England international will be judged and he needed three points against Brighton.

At half-time, with the scoreline goalless against the Seagulls, Lampard might have been more than a little concerned.

However, a penalty from Jorginho five minutes into the second half eased the nerves before compatriot Willian added a second to give Chelsea a routine victory.

SPURS SHOW THEIR METTLE

This had all the hallmarks of being a miserable day for Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino, but he ended up with a smile on his face.

A red card for Serge Aurier just after the half-hour mark and a howler from goalkeeper Hugo Lloris had the whiff of a Tottenham implosion.

Tanguy Ndombele put Tottenham ahead before Aurier was shown a second yellow card. Lloris then sloppily allowed Danny Ings to equalise when he casually received a Toby Alderweireld pass.

Harry Kane had Spurs ahead again before half-time but, playing the majority of the game with 10 men, Southampton had chances. Spurs, though, showed plenty of backbone to earn the three points.

LATE EQUALISERS FOR BURNLEY AND WEST HAM

Aston Villa missed the chance for a second league win after they were twice pegged by Burnley. Anwar El Ghazi put Villa ahead before Jay Rodriguez levelled. John McGinn had Dean Smith's side in front again, only for Chris Wood to equalise with nine minutes left.

Bournemouth's clash with West Ham also finished 2-2. Andriy Yarmolenko's third league goal of the campaign put the Hammers in the lead but Josh King equalised. In-form Callum Wilson then struck in the first minute after half-time only for Aaron Cresswell to secure a share of the spoils for the Hammers.

In the day's other games, Wolves banked their first three points of the season with a 2-0 victory over winless Watford, who prop up the rest of the table, thanks to a strike from Matt Doherty and Daryl Janmaat's own goal.

Crystal Palace clinched a 2-0 win over newly promoted Norwich to move into the comfort of mid-table following a penalty from spot-kick expert Luka Milivojevic and an injury-time strike from Andros Townsend.

Atletico Madrid striker Alvaro Morata is set to miss Saturday's derby with his former club Real Madrid after an appeal against a suspension was unsuccessful.

Morata was sent off in Atletico's LaLiga clash with Real Mallorca on Wednesday after being shown two yellow cards in quick succession following an appearance as a substitute.

The Spain international had come off the bench in the 69th minute, and he collected a booking just eight minutes later after a row with referee Alejandro Hernandez.

He was then swiftly involved in a flashpoint with Mallorca's Salva Sevilla which saw the pair square up to each other and exchange angry words before Morata, 26, received a second booking.

Atletico had written to the Spanish FA asking for clemency on Morata's suspension, but the governing body's disciplinary committee decided the one-match ban would not be overturned and fined the club 350 euros.

Diego Simeone's side also had an appeal for a yellow card picked up in the same match by defender Stefan Savic turned down.

"The arguments made by Atletico Madrid are rejected and the reprimands imposed on the said players are confirmed," said a statement from the Spanish FA.

Atletico still have the option to appeal against the decisions made by the committee and should they do so would receive an answer on Saturday morning.

Morata, who is on loan from Chelsea, has scored one goal in four LaLiga appearances for Atletico this season.

He had two spells with Real Madrid, representing the club from 2010 to 2014 and from 2016 to 2017.

Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard has urged patience to be shown with Christian Pulisic after the winger's low-key start to life at Stamford Bridge.

Pulisic, 21, was expected to fill part of the void left by Belgium forward Eden Hazard's departure to Real Madrid and has shown fleeting moments of promise so far.

The United States international has yet to find the net in a competitive match since he linked up with Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund this season, having been signed by the Blues in January and then loaned back to the Bundesliga club.

Pulisic has made six appearances in all competitions for Chelsea under Lampard but was an unused substitute for the 2-1 defeat by Liverpool last time out in the Premier League.

However, Lampard believes the youngster's qualities will shine through when he has fully adjusted to life at the club.

"It’s normal to have an adaptation and he has shown some good moments. Pulisic we forget is 21 because of the price-tag," Lampard said.

"We must give him a bit of time to adapt because of youth, change of league and living. We know he has played in the Champions League.

"I have got four wingers now that they are all fit. They are all different, have different pathways."

Chelsea are yet to win a Premier League match on home turf since Lampard was appointed in July.

They host Brighton on Saturday with Lampard desperate to get that first win at Stamford Bridge under his belt.

"The fact we haven't won at home is something we want to correct," he said.

"We need a similar performance to Liverpool. If we get that level then I expect we can do okay. We have had a run of home games, but we have to respect Brighton.

"It might be two months but we haven't played many games. We want to be competitive and get into the top four. 

"I think from the way that we have played and there are lots of moments where we have showed confidence."

Chelsea have been boosted by the return of Andreas Christensen and Olivier Giroud to training with both available to face Brighton.

Denmark defender Christensen limped out of the first half of Chelsea's defeat to Liverpool while France striker Giroud has missed the last two games through illness.

Lampard said he could not put a timeframe on centre-back Antonio Rudiger's return from a groin problem.

"Toni has got a recurring injury in his groin area, not the original knee injury," Lampard added. 

"We are trying to find a solution because he has still got some pain. We're hopeful it won't be long but I haven't got an end date for you. It's an injury that is ongoing."

Chelsea's youngsters deserved the chance to shine in Wednesday's EFL Cup tie with Grimsby Town and the onus is now on them to become first-team regulars, according to Frank Lampard.

Marc Guehi, Reece James and Billy Gilmour all made their first starts for the club, while Faustino Anjorin and Ian Maatsen were introduced as second-half substitutes as Chelsea cruised into round four with a crushing 7-1 win at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues raced two goals ahead inside the opening seven minutes thanks to strikes from Ross Barkley and Michy Batshuayi, but their League Two opponents pulled one back through Matt Green.

Pedro restored his side's two-goal lead from the penalty spot, however, and further goals from Kurt Zouma, James, Batshuayi and the returning Callum Hudson-Odoi followed in the second half.

Lampard insisted it was not the perfect performance but was pleased to give the academy graduates further recognition for their hard work.

"It was pleasing on lots of levels," he said at his post-match news conference.

"They've deserved to this point to make it into the team. Billy Gilmour had a fantastic debut, running the game from midfield. 

"Marc Guehi was solid and they deserved their starts since I've been at the club - and I've known them before when they played for the Under-23s. I think they've been outstanding this year. 

"The young boys that come on as subs, who are still young boys, to show their comfort on the ball and who they are. The opportunities are there but now the hard work really begins to get in there regularly and show they're worthy of the squad." 

James, in particular, caught the eye, the 19-year-old right-back scoring his side's fifth goal and playing a part in two more.

Lampard is keen for the youngster to push on and has also challenged Hudson-Odoi to improve after he marked his return from a long-term injury with a late strike.

"Reece's performance last year at Wigan show the talent he has got. I think he is going to be a big player for this club. He showed his real qualities on the ball today," he said.

"Callum's performance, first half I wasn't so sure. I thought him and Christian [Pulisic] as wingers, the message was to hurt the line and run behind and get into the box to take people on. 

"It wasn't happening and that message didn't get across. It was reinforced pretty strongly and in the second half he [Callum] managed to get into better positions. Callum's talent means that he absolutely works hard to run behind people, to get at people, to be inside, be outside and work off the ball, all those things.

"That's where he needs to learn, because if he wants to play week in and week out, that is what he is going to have to do."

Chelsea have been paired with Manchester United in the next round and Lampard is expecting Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to bring a strong squad to Stamford Bridge.

"It is a big draw obviously," he said. "It is two big teams. I am pleased we are at home and we will see. 

"We have to respect that they have good players. They beat us 4-0 [on opening weekend in the Premier League], albeit it wasn't a 4-0 [on performance]. I am not going to sit here and talk down Man United because it will be a tough game no matter what way you look at it."

Reece James starred on his debut and Callum Hudson-Odoi marked his return with a goal as Frank Lampard picked up a first home win as Chelsea boss with a resounding 7-1 EFL Cup victory against Grimsby Town on Wednesday.

The Blues had lost back-to-back matches at Stamford Bridge and were winless there in four under Lampard, but they made light work of their League Two visitors, scoring seven goals in the competition for the first time since 1960-61.

James was one of three full debutants to start for Chelsea and played a part in three of his side's goals, including a strike of his own inside the final 10 minutes.

Matt Green's goal had given Grimsby some hope following quick-fire strikes from Ross Barkley and Michy Batshuayi.

But Pedro scored from the spot before half-time and further goals followed from Kurt Zouma, James, Batshuayi and the returning Hudson-Odoi in the second half as Chelsea returned to winning ways.

Callum Hudson-Odoi was named in Chelsea's starting line-up for Wednesday's EFL Cup clash with Grimsby Town as he eyes a return to full fitness. 

The 18-year-old, who signed a new five-year deal last week, has been sidelined since rupturing his Achilles in April. 

Hudson-Odoi is highly regarded at Stamford Bridge and already has two England caps to his name. 

Blues boss Frank Lampard described the winger as having "everything we are trying to bring". 

Chelsea, whose much-changed line-up also includes young debutants Reece James, Billy Gilmour and Marc Guehi, will be heavy favourites to overcome League Two Grimsby Town. 

It would represent a first home win at the helm for Lampard, who has overseen back-to-back losses to Valencia and Liverpool. 

Chelsea finished runners-up to Manchester City in this competition last season under Maurizio Sarri's guidance.

After requesting a move away from Paris Saint-Germain, who would have thought Neymar could be in line to sign a contract extension?

Neymar was determined to return to LaLiga champions Barcelona but a deal did not materialise prior to the transfer window closing.

Now, Neymar's long-term future could be in Paris…

 

TOP STORY – PSG HOPEFUL OF EXTENDING NEYMAR CONTRACT

Paris Saint-Germain are hopeful of signing superstar Neymar to a new contract, reports Le10Sport.

LaLiga champions Barcelona were in talks to re-sign Neymar from PSG after the Brazilian's world-record €222million transfer in 2017, however, an agreement could not be reached.

Neymar, though, has reportedly held talks with PSG over extending his contract in the French capital.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Sun says Manchester United will target Juventus veteran Mario Mandzukic in January. The 33-year-old Croatian was linked with a move to Old Trafford before the window shut. But with United facing a crisis following injuries to Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial after Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez's exits, the Red Devils are believed to be weighing up Mandzukic.

AC Milan turned down the chance to sign Chelsea sensation Tammy Abraham, according to Tuttomercatoweb. The 21-year-old has already scored seven Premier League goals this season. However, Milan reportedly pulled the plug on the deal due to his apparent inexperience at the top level.

United and Juventus are reportedly scouting Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, a United scout was in attendance for Tuesday's Serie A clash between Brescia and Juve. Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund are also reportedly eyeing the 19-year-old.

Napoli are in talks with centre-back Nikola Maksimovic over a new long-term contract, reports Corriere dello Sport.

- Sky Sports claims Atletico Madrid are tracking Boca Juniors sensation Agustin Almendra. LaLiga rivals Sevilla and Valencia have also reportedly inquired about the 19-year-old.

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."

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