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Frank Lampard ready to let midfield duo leave despite transfer ban

Bengaluru, July 29: Chelsea are preparing for life without Tiemoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater after the duo failed to impress boss Frank Lampard in their pre-season tour.

Lampard, who can't sign players because of a transfer ban, wanted to have a look at his current squad in the Far East before deciding on their futures.

The new Blues boss has already had four friendlies to assess his squad, including the recent 4-3 victory over Reading, and those on the fringes are running out of chances to impress. Both Bakayoko and Drinkwater featured in the narrow win with dull performances and are now reportedly set to face the axe.

Drinkwater, a former Premier League champion with Leicester City, has played only 23 times for Chelsea after his £35million move in 2017. His last appearance came against Manchester City in the Community Shield last August.

Bakayoko, on the other hand, joined Chelsea from Monaco the same summer as Drinkwater but was loaned out to AC Milan last season after struggling in the Premier League.

Competition for places in midfield is likely to be tougher this season as the Blues have been stocked with the likes of Mateo Kovacic Jorginho, N'Golo Kante, Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek while there is also likely to be room for academy prospect Mason Mount, who was instrumental for Lampard on loan at Derby County last season.

And with Lampard restricted to 17 overseas players in Chelsea's Premier League squad, both Bakayoko and Drinkwater are expected to be now sacrificed.

Everton could move for the £40million former Monaco midfielder as a replacement for Idrissa Gueye who is expected to seal a move to PSG once he returns to Europe. However, there has been no concrete offer for Drinkwater as yet.

Meanwhile, another first-team squad player could also be sold alongside them. Right-back Davide Zappacosta, who mostly played as the deputy to Cesar Azpilicueta could be loaned out in order to allow promising academy starlet Reece James make the development as the successor of the Chelsea captain.

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Story first published: Monday, July 29, 2019, 12:23 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 29, 2019
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