By Scott Morrison
Chelsea are ready to give Frank Lampard the opportunity to overhaul the side with £150million to spend this summer, according to reports.
When Lampard left Derby County to succeed Maurizio Sarri at Stamford Bridge, he was unable to add to the squad due to FIFA imposing a two-window transfer ban.
That has since been lifted and according to UK’s the Evening Standard, Lampard will now be backed to the tune of £150m with his list of targets including Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner and Lyon star Moussa Dembele.
Lampard was irritated on transfer deadline day that the Blues hierarchy had failed to deliver another striker, leaving Olivier Giroud stuck at the club despite angling for an exit.
He sought reinforcements to bolster their top four credentials with the Blues in a fight with Manchester United, Tottenham, Wolves and Sheffield United for the fourth spot.
Napoli’s Dries Mertens and Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani were considered on short-term deals before those pursuits ended unsuccessfully and Lampard finished the January window as he started.
The Standard’s report details how Dembele, impressing in Ligue 1 with Lyon, is their ‘preferred’ target, with RB Leipzig’s Werner also an option being considered.
Dembele is 23 and has been scouted multiple times by a host of Premier League clubs, with the belief that he could make a seamless transition to English football.
With 20 Bundesliga goals this season, Werner is on the radar of all top sides in Europe and he admitted on Monday that he remains ‘open’ to a move to England.
‘I am open for everything,’ he said. ‘I was in America for a holiday recently and English football was on all the time.
‘That’s an exclamation mark for the Premier League. But there are also big, famous clubs and it would certainly be fun playing there.’
Lampard is likely to be in the market for a new winger with Pedro expected to depart and Willian yet to agree to a fresh contract.
Sancho is of ‘serious interest’ to Chelsea but the 19-year-old is one of the most sought-after stars in Europe right now and would demand at least £100m, if not more depending on his performance for England at Euro 2020.
He has 12 goals and 12 assists for Dortmund in the Bundesliga this season but there is a growing expectation in Germany that, such has been his form since arriving, he will make a big-money exit in the summer, with Chelsea keen to land him.
Having not spent big in the previous two windows, Lampard is ready to be backed heavily to land game-changing players and ease the expectation on young stars such as Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount.