In this instalment of our TT Roundup, Football Transfer Tavern have gathered three of the biggest stories to have involved Chelsea recently and have provided our thoughts on the reports published.
Hysaj’s agent claims Chelsea bid for defender
The agent of Napoli defender Elseid Hysaj has claimed that Chelsea made a €50m (£43.2m) bid for the Albanian full-back.
According to Tutto Napoli (via Sport Witness), Mario Giuffredi has insisted that the Serie A club turned down a bid from Chelsea last year but are willing to sell the player in January to avoid losing him for nothing in the summer.
Hysaj was thought to be close to a contract renewal in recent weeks, but has yet to sign a new deal for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
Sport Witness argues that Giuffredi’s claims are contradictory, citing a report back in November which implied Hysaj had a release clause of €50m – the sum Chelsea supposedly offered Napoli for his services.
Their theory of things not adding up looks justified based on the evidence of Giuffredi’s quotes, and therefore his recent comments should perhaps not be taken as gospel.
However, the fact that Hysaj has not signed a new deal could leave the door open for Chelsea to pounce if they remain interested – though the size of the required fee remains to be seen.
Lampard not forced to play youngsters
Manager Frank Lampard has insisted that the club’s transfer ban has not forced his hand in terms of his selection policy at Chelsea, in which he has given plenty of opportunities for the club’s youngsters.
Speaking prior to their Champions League game against Ajax (via TalkSPORT), Lampard suggested that his decision to turn to youth as often as he has this season is entirely his own, regardless of the current restrictions in place at Stamford Bridge.
There may be fewer options available to Frank Lampard having been unable to delve into the transfer market this summer, but it is clear that there is every reason to believe that giving youth a chance is not an enforced policy.
The likes of Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi – both fully-fledged internationals – would arguably have looked greater prospects than Abraham on paper at the start of the season – while players such as Pedro and Marcos Alonso have had to be patient for opportunities despite previous success in Chelsea blue.
And given the club sits in the top four of the Premier League, it seems Lampard has been rather justified in gifting his Chelsea youngsters a chance to shine.
Lewis Cook focused on Bournemouth amid Chelsea interest
Chelsea have been linked with a move for Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook in recent weeks by the Daily Mail – though the 22-year-old has suggested he is enjoying life on the south coast.
He told the Daily Echo that he takes no notice of the speculation surrounding a possible switch, with Liverpool also thought to be in the running for his signature.
As demonstrated above, given Frank Lampard has appeared to have shown a liking for young talents such as Cook, a move for the former Leeds player would perhaps not be too surprising.
However, with the midfielder stating his happiness and no signs of a concrete approach from the Blues to this point, it seems his immediate future remains at the Vitality Stadium, where he has clearly done enough to warrant the attention of the big Premier League clubs if reports are to be believed.
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Chelsea fans, what are your thoughts on these stories? Should the club explore moves for Hysaj or Cook? Let us know in the comments below!
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