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Lampard’s Chelsea cull: major squad overhaul planned at Stamford Bridge


Frank Lampard is set for a busy summer with reports suggesting that the Chelsea manager is planning to make major changes to his squad. 

The Blues were beaten 3-0 at home by Bayern Munich in the Champions League in midweek and the result – and gulf in quality – could force Lampard to wield the axe. 

The Sun reports that Lampard is preparing to sell eight first-team players as part of a major overhaul at Stamford Bridge. According to several media outlets the Blues are also linked with a number of high-profile new signings. 

Here we look at the potential outs and ins at the Bridge in the summer transfer window… 

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Jorginho, Kepa and Barkley at risk 

Italian £50m midfielder Jorginho, £72m Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and England midfielder Ross Barkley are among the eight players who could be heading for the exit. 

The Sun says that others also under the microscope in the final months of the season are centre-half Kurt Zouma and wingers Willian and Pedro. Meanwhile, left-sided defenders Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri are not rated as good enough.

According to the Sun Lampard’s mind is “rapidly being made up on who has what it takes to survive a major cull”.

Willian considers exit 

Brazilian playmaker Willian could leave when his contract expires at the end of the season. The Daily Mirror reports that the 31-year-old has been offered two more years but he is holding out for three.  

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Speaking to Esporte Interativo Willian said: “Chelsea offered me two years, and they are not going to change what they offered. I said I wanted three more years. The situation is difficult because of this, I really don’t know if it will be possible.”

Willian has long been linked with a move to Spanish giants Barcelona.

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refuses to be substituted during the Carabao Cup final

Kepa out, Oblak in?

At £72m Spaniard Kepa Arrizabalaga is the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, but he has recently been dropped to the bench by Lampard. 

Metro and the Daily Express both report that Chelsea are plotting a swap deal that would see Kepa move to Atletico Madrid and Slovenian No.1 Jan Oblak switch to west London. 

Conte keen on left-sided duo

Inter Milan head coach Antonio Conte is reportedly keen on bringing Marcos Alonso or Emerson Palmieri to Italy this summer. 

The Daily Mail, citing a report in Tuttosport, says that the former Chelsea boss is eyeing extra strength in depth as Inter look to continue to close the gap to Juventus in Serie A.

Upamecano and Chilwell to bolster defence?

Lampard is planning a “defensive overhaul”, the Mirror reports, and his No.1 target is RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano. 

The 21-year-old Frenchman is seen by Lampard as a perfect partner for Antonio Rudiger at the heart of the Chelsea defence. 

With captain César Azpilicueta still a major influence in the dressing room and Reese James impressing at right-back, it’s on the left where Lampard is also seeking improvements.

One player who could bolster the left side of Chelsea’s defence is Leicester City and England international Ben Chilwell.

Jadon Sancho has impressed for German club Borussia Dortmund

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Sancho to join Ziyech in attack?

Chelsea have already agreed a deal to bring Ajax star Hakim Ziyech to the Bridge, but another attacker being linked with the Blues is Jadon Sancho. 

Borussia Dortmund and England star Sancho is also a reported target for Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Barcelona.  

The battle to sign the £150m-rated 19-year-old could be the biggest transfer scramble of the summer. 

Man Utd boss Solskjaer backed to ‘spend, spend, spend’

Today’s newspaper back pages

Man City are the Real deal with ‘Bernablue’ win

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For analysis of the biggest sport stories – and a concise, balanced take on the week’s news – try The Week magazine. Start your trial today 
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