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Frank Lampard expecting to have "big say" in Chelsea transfer plans

Frank Lampard expecting to have
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Chelsea are able to dip into the January market after their transfer ban was lifted.

Frank Lampard expects to have a "big say" in Chelsea's recruitment plans.

The former Blues midfielder will get his first taste of the transfer market as Chelsea boss next month, and is confident of close contact with the board on targets.

Chelsea are able to dip into the January market after their two-window FIFA transfer ban was halved by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on appeal.

Lampard's predecessors Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri often hinted at frustrations with the Chelsea board's transfer strategy, but the new boss anticipates a smoother relationship.

Petr Cech has returned to Stamford Bridge to oversee transfer dealings
Petr Cech has returned to Stamford Bridge to oversee transfer dealings (Steven Paston/PA)

Petr Cech has returned to Stamford Bridge to span the divide between coaches and board, with Lampard in regular contact with both the former goalkeeper and club director Marina Granovskaia.

Asked if he will call the shots over transfers, Lampard joked: "We haven't bought anyone yet.

"But to answer that seriously I have very open conversations with Marina, and she's speaking to the owner. I can speak to either of them, but mainly Marina, and then the scouting department and Petr Cech.

"And I sit with my staff daily, for hours, and we talk about how we can improve.

"And of course at points you start to think about the longer-term future. So the conversations have been very open to this point, so I'm happy with it. But of course we haven't bought anyone.

"Of course when it comes to recruitment I want to have a big say in it and we're very open."

Chelsea's summer transfer ban forced the club to look into its own academy on Lampard's arrival, with homegrown hitman Tammy Abraham firing 13 goals in all competitions in his first full campaign leading the Blues' attack.

Youngsters like Reece James and Fikayo Tomori have shone too, with Callum Hudson-Odoi having already broken through last term and Ruben Loftus-Cheek an important part of Lampard's squad despite being sidelined through injury.

Lampard insists Chelsea's young stars will still have big Stamford Bridge futures despite the club's renewed ability to recruit, insisting the current Blues crop must be spurred on by the thought of new arrivals.

Asked if he expects to have genuine influence over the club's transfer strategy, Lampard said: "Yes, but then if I say, 'can I have Mbappe, Messi and Ronaldo as my front three' that might get knocked back, do you know what I mean?

"And I wouldn't say that, but it's obviously a balance where I can put forward the recommendations and have an open conversation with the owner, and hope that we move forward in the right direction. I'm very open about that.

"If I start to look at where we can strengthen the squad it's certainly not going to be any slight on the young players or anything.

"I just think we all here have seen this summer, and what's happened since the summer, that the idea of going into the academy and giving these boys a chance was a really good one, because they've deserved it. And they haven't been given that so much in the past.

"So I do think maybe we've changed their minds (the club) a bit on that one.

"Of course we need to stay competitive, that will never change. But I think people have been very pleased to see that, and I certainly have.

"I remember moments where the club made certain big money signings, like Fernando Torres coming to the club, statement signings; they were always exciting.

"When you're a player at a club and you want to be successful and you push and push, you do get excited by players coming in.

"So I always think it's healthy, and it's par for the course at a club like Chelsea.

"You shouldn't expect it to be any other way. It keeps you on your toes and I think that's always a good thing."

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