Having invested more than £200 million to improve Frank Lampard’s squad in the summer, Chelsea are not expected to complete any big-money signings this month.
Instead, the focus at Stamford Bridge is on outgoings. And especially those not currently in the first-team picture.
It’s never easy to conclude deals in the January window and that has only been made harder due to the financial fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Yet Chelsea have several fringe players they need to get off their books this month. There are also decisions to be made on how to trim Lampard’s bloated first-team squad. Here’s the current state of play.
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The £71 million fee Chelsea paid for the 26-year-old has left them in a difficult position. Kepa can’t simply be written off after a dramatic loss of form. A solution must be found this month or in the summer.
Kepa is Lampard’s second-choice goalkeeper – he has played only three matches since the arrival of Edouard Mendy from Rennes – and even fell behind veteran Willy Caballero at the end of last season. It’s a situation not befitting of the world’s most expensive goalkeeper.
Fortunately, the Blues handed the Spaniard a seven-year contract when he joined in 2018. It makes the prospect of a long-term loan to rebuild his confidence and increase his price tag possible, as explained in more detail here.
And Lampard hasn’t ruled out a departure for Kepa this month. “At the moment he’s our player and I think the situation is clear,” he said last week.
“Edou’s come in, he’s been playing regularly as the number one for us. When Kepa came in for the Champions League game he did well, and he’s trained really well. His attitude around the place has been brilliant.
“So I won’t be drawn on that one at the moment, he’s our player, we’ll see how January goes. But I…