Lampard hints at recruitment pending appeal of Chelsea’s transfer ban

Frank Lampard has indicated Chelsea will look to strengthen their squad in January if they win their appeal against a two-window transfer ban. The club are unable to sign players until February 2020 after Fifa found them guilty of breaking transfer regulations relating to minors earlier this year. They were also fined £460,000 and unsuccessful in overturning the decision when presenting their case to Fifa’s appeals committee in April. They have since taken the case to the court of arbitration for sport, which will hear it on 20 November.

Fifa published a judgment of the case last week, saying Chelsea were given a transfer ban following 150 rule breaches involving 69 academy players over several seasons. Chelsea were thus unable to make any signings last summer.

The ban has not stopped the team from making a strong start to the season. They are fourth in the Premier League and are second in their Champions League group before hosting Ajax on Tuesday evening.

Lampard is happy with his young squad’s performances but he could enter the market if the ban is lifted and the right players are available during the winter transfer window.

“I’ll be very interested of course but I have no comment as such now,” Chelsea’s manager said. “I actually don’t know enough detail. It is a legal matter and I don’t know enough of the legals to even delve. But of course I’m interested because it’s going to affect what we can do in January or not. But it is a little bit down my list to be fair because the matter in hand is Ajax tomorrow and the matter in hand then will be Crystal Palace [on Saturday]. I’m not going too far ahead with what happens. We’ll see and at that point we’ll see how it affects us.”

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It was pointed out that many Chelsea fans do not want to see the ban overturned. “We’re on a good run,” he said. “I get that. That’s a nice feeling. Some players have come in and shown they can do roles and play well. We are getting results but at the minute I’m very happy with what I’ve got so I suppose that’s why the fans are as well.”

Mason Mount, one of the beneficiaries of the ban, said that Chelsea’s young squad will not be intimidated if new players arrive. “We’ve had to deal with that during our whole time in the academy,” the England midfielder said. “You come into a team and there’s players from different countries and you’ve got to work and show how good you are.

“There’s always been that competition within Chelsea. We’re all ready for the competition. It’s exactly the same now. There’s still massive competition within the team and you’ve got to fight for your place. We want to win trophies. We want to be top of the league. We just need to keep working hard and when that time comes around we’ll be ready for that.”


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