Frank Lampard ready to axe Davide Zappacosta to clear pathway for Reece James

The Italian will be allowed to leave Stamford Bridge this summer (Picture: Getty)

Chelsea will look to offload Davide Zappacosta even after the Premier League transfer window has closed with Frank Lampard keen to make Reece James the club’s deputy right-back.

Zappacosta joined while Antonio Conte was still in charge but has only provided cover and competition behind wing-back Victor Moses and then Cesar Azpilicueta when Maurizio Sarri returned to a back four.

According to, Chelsea expect to receive offers for the Italian defender from Serie A – where the window is open 10 days longer – and are happy to let him leave.

James picked up an injury at the very end of the season after returning from his loan (Getty)

Lampard has already decided that he wants James, who excelled on loan at Wigan last season, to be the back-up right-back for the new season.

The new Chelsea boss is keen to keep the pathway to the first team open for the teenager, with Zappacosta – whose game time will be even more restricted – the big casualty of that decision.

Lampard is a big fan of James even though he has not had the chance to see him in training over pre-season, with the 19-year-old still out of action with an ankle ligament injury.

It is hoped that he will be back in full training by the end of August, by which point Chelsea will hope to have already offloaded Zappacosta.

Lampard will utilise Chelsea’s Chelsea’s conveyor belt of young talent (Picture: Getty)

They are likely to make a big loss, though, having spent £27.6m on the defender only two years ago, with a recent offer from Lazio – who have since dropped their interest – only reaching £13.5m.

Chelsea’s focus under Lampard will instead see the introduction of more of the club’s talented youth players, who were given precious little opportunity under previous managers, and the versatile James will be one of the main beneficiaries.


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