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Chelsea free to buy players after transfer ban halved by CAS; Lampard excited by chance to mould squad

Chelsea free to buy players after transfer ban halved by CAS

London, Dec 6: Chelsea are free to sign players in January after their transfer ban was halved by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Friday (December 6).

The Premier League side were barred from signing new players for two successive windows by FIFA in February as punishment for breaching rules relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.

Chelsea's appeal to FIFA was partially upheld, with the club allowed to register players under the age of 16 but still not permitted to bring in new senior players.

However, Frank Lampard will now be able to add to his young squad next month after CAS reduced the ban to one window, which Chelsea have already served, while halving the 600,000 Swiss francs (£4,500) fine they were handed to CHF300,000 (£2,250).

Lampard excited

Frank Lampard welcomed the opportunity to mould his squad but kept his counsel when asked about potential targets.

Head coach Lampard can consequently sign players in January, though he has yet to properly discuss his strategy with the club's hierarchy.

"It is what it is and now we know," Lampard said at a news conference ahead of Saturday's trip to Everton. "Obviously the club was working towards that positive outcome and it allows us the potential to look at the market going forward.

"I'm pleased from a football level, it was never my job to get involved with reasons why or legal reasons, for the club moving forward it's a good thing. Now it's a discussion we can take up.

"Nothing much [has been said] because it wasn't something to discuss at length until we knew the decision. The club has been working away, putting forward our case, I've been working hard for the results on the pitch."

The ban did little to shelve rumours for potential incomings at Stamford Bridge. Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha and Leicester City full-back Ben Chilwell have all been rumoured targets.

Lampard, expectedly so, was not willing to engage in conversation about potential incomings, though.

"I'm not going to sit here and go too far down any lines with that," he added.

"We will see where we are, as I said I'm happy with the squad we have here, I think we're doing okay. In terms of the bigger picture and what we do it's constantly fluid."

The ability to bring in players may also pave the way for the departure of out-of-favour striker Olivier Giroud, who is keen to play games to keep his place in France's squad ahead of Euro 2020.

But Lampard said the news does not change his thoughts on his striking options.

"It doesn't [change anything], I don't consider it at all. I just consider the squad I've got now. In January we can discuss those options," Lampard said when asked about Giroud, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

Lampard has earned plaudits for blooding several of Chelsea's young stars this term, with Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori among those to have grasped their opportunities.

The former England international says the fact he can sign players does not necessarily change his mindset, though he conceded entering the market poses a new challenge for his fledging Chelsea coaching career.

"Again we haven't had that conversation because we couldn't buy. The fact people have given us credit is because they expected less of us," he said.

"I still want more, I think we could have more points and be higher up the table. If we feel there are positions we can strengthen we'll do that.

"That's why people expected less of us, because those around us were spending £100million and we didn't have that. We lost Eden Hazard and two number nines, it's important going forward that we get it right.

"It is a challenge yeah, I suppose the one thing I felt affected me in the summer is when you come into a club, sometimes the players you bring in, the attributes they have, are key to what you want to do. I couldn't do that.

"Moving forward I will put that to the club. It's a much bigger process, it's not just me getting it right or wrong. Any recommendations I make to improve the squad will be ones I see as improving us."

(With OPTA inputs)

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Story first published: Friday, December 6, 2019, 20:44 [IST]
Other articles published on Dec 6, 2019
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