7.45am Chelsea transfer news LIVE: Caicedo LATEST, Simakan linked, Giroud 'set to stay' at Bridge

CHELSEA are in FA Cup action this weekend as they welcome League Two side Morecambe to the Bridge.

On the transfer front, we've the very latest on interest in Moises Caicedo plus an update on the future of Olivier Giroud.

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  • Jack Figg

    MORNING, CHELSEA FANS

    Chelsea's bid to gloss over their Premier League slump with some FA Cup joy starts without crocks Reece James, Andreas Christensen and N’Golo Kante.

    Boss Frank Lampard confirmed the trio's absence at home to League Two side Morecambe on Sunday lunch-time.

    Lampard surely can't even contemplate a shock third-round exit after just four points and four defeats in six Prem games.

    But one player tipped for the line-up continues to dominate the Stamford Bridge transfer talk.

    West Ham are the latest club to be linked with France striker Olivier Giroud, 34.

    Juventus and Inter Milan are among the other clubs said to be interested in the former Arsenal star.

    Meanwhile, Kai Havertz’s former manager at Bayern Leverkusen, Peter Bosz, said of the Germany attacker: "I can see why Chelsea brought him in but I cannot yet see the exact idea Frank Lampard has for him."

    Napoli are reportedly "dreaming" of signing Blues' left-back Emerson Palmieri.

    And of keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga's future Lampard said: "Edou’s [Mendy] come in, he’s been playing regularly as the No1.

    “And when Kepa has come in he did well. So I won’t be drawn… we’ll see how January goes."

  • Ian Tuckey

    HAVEN'T A CLUE

    Kai Havertz’s old manager at Bayern Leverkusen, Peter Bosz, says he doesn’t see where the star fits into Frank Lampard’s plans.

    The £70million man has failed to hit the ground running at Stamford Bridge after being tried in a number of positions – despite previously lighting up the Bundesliga.

    Credit: Andy Hooper-The Daily Mail

    Bosz told The Athletic: “As for Kai, I can see why Chelsea brought him in but I cannot yet see the exact idea Frank Lampard has for him.

    “It’s really good that he protects him in the press, though. But in the end, you must deliver, you must score goals and make goals. For a €100 million transfer you must play, and he isn’t.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    PIA ENGAGEMENT

    Chelsea forward Lucas Piazon’s move to Braga is reportedly set to be ‘made official soon’.

    The Record reports the player is ready to seal a permanent switch to Portugal.

    His Blues contract is up in the summer and he was most recently on loan at Rio Ave.

    Piazon has not appeared for Chelsea in EIGHT years, spending them all on loan, but is technically the Blues’ longest serving player.

  • Ian Tuckey

    OLI GOOD VALUE

    Olivier Giroud's Chelsea future seems in the balance – with Juventus, Inter Milan and West Ham all mentioned over a possible switch this month.

    Yet the French World Cup winner and ex-Arsenal striker, 34, has usually impressed when given the chance in his two years at the Bridge – as these stats suggest.

  • Ian Tuckey

    MBAP ON THE MENU

    Real Madrid are targeting transfers for Kylian Mbappe, Eduardo Camavinga and David Alaba, according to reports.

    And the Spanish giants also want to tie three first-team stars down to new contracts in what would be a bumper 2021.

    Credit: Reuters

    According to AS, Los Blancos hope to make a move for the Paris Saint-Germain forward in the summer – although they may face competition from Liverpool.

    Real were desperate for Mbappe, 22, to refrain from signing a new contract at the Ligue 1 champions – and so far he has not put pen to paper.

    That means by the end of this season, he will have just 12 months remaining on his deal.

    His price tag remains unclear and new boss Mauricio Pochettino will be determined to keep one of the world’s best players in his squad.

    But the LaLiga title holders have made their desire no secret and want to line Mbappe, Eden Hazard and Erling Haaland – a 2022 target to coincide with Karim Benzema’s contract expiry – up front together.

    Zinedine Zidane is also keen on Camavinga, the highly-rated 18-year-old Rennes midfielder who already has three senior French caps.

  • Ian Tuckey

    NO-GO FOR CHELSEA TRIO

    Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has confirmed that Reece James, Andreas Christensen and N’Golo Kante are all OUT of Sunday’s FA Cup tie against Morecambe.

    Lampard said: "Reece will train with us tomorrow but this game is too soon. N'Golo has a minor hamstring injury."

  • Ian Tuckey

    STRETCH UP FOR THE CUP

    Chelsea's squad have put what they call the "finishing touches" to their training ground preparation for Sunday lunch-time'sFA Cup third-round clash with League Two Morecambe at Stamford Bridge.

     

  • Ian Tuckey

    PREM GIANTS QUEUE UP FOR MILIK

    Arkadiusz Milik is being chased by the ‘best Premier League clubs’, his agent claims.

    The Napoli striker is at loggerheads with his current club, with his contract set to expire in the summer.

    Arkadiusz Milik is attracting interest from around Europe

    He hasn’t made a single appearance all season, after being left off Gennaro Gattuso’s squad lists.

    But out of sight hasn’t meant out of mind for some of Europe’s top clubs.

    Agent Fabrizio De Vecchi explained: “The best clubs in the Premier League, Atletico and Marseille are interested in Arek. Of course, no team offers what Napoli asks for.”

    As for last summer, he continued: “Roma and Juve were also close to signing him, but for different reasons, and in some cases still difficult to understand, the negotiation did not work out.

    “But this often happens in football. If they come back to him? I don’t rule it out, but I can’t be the one to say it.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    ARSENAL AND SPURS BID TO GRAB SAB

    Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has earmarked Marcel Sabitzer as a major transfer target, according to reports.

    The RB Leipzig midfielder has emerged into the primetime with the club, having joined while they were second-tier in 2014.

    And his rise with last year's Champions League semi-finalists has reportedly alerted Spurs and Arsenal to his abilities.

    According to The Athletic, Mourinho is a big fan of Sabitzer's and the midfielder is seen as ready-made for the coach's setup.

    A role alongside Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is thought to be perfect for the Leipzig captain.

    Mourinho was able to do his own scouting report on Sabitzer in March's last-16 defeat to Leipzig in the Champions League, the second leg seeing him score twice.

    A January transfer is seen as unlikely given Leipzig's Bundesliga title tilt.

  • Ian Tuckey

    NEVER STOP OR YOU’LL FLOP, PEPE

    Chelsea flop Loic Remy has warned Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe not to waste his career.

    Remy insists big-club players “cannot have one day of being lazy”.

    Nicolas Pepe, shown training with Arsenal team-mate David Luiz today, has been told to work hard or risk fading away

    Remy played alongside Pepe at Lille and has urged the winger to avoid wasting his talent at Arsenal.

    Remy told Goal: “He was flying in Lille and he was the best player in the team. Then, when you get to the next step, the expectation is really high. You cannot have one day of being lazy or late. The intensity in big clubs is like that.

    “You can’t complain and there’s not much time to adapt. You can’t get away with mistakes anymore like you can at smaller clubs. There are always players waiting on the bench to take your spot.

    “They will be training their hardest to replace you and that’s the biggest difference between big clubs and a smaller club.

    “For him, the whole team are having a difficult season. Arsenal is Arsenal, so I think they will get back to having good results even if there are no easy games in the Premier League.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    HAMMERS 'EYE OLI'

    Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud is being linked with West Ham to replace Ajax new boy Sebastian Haller.

    The Hammers offloaded Flop Haller, 26, for around £25million, a 50 per cent hit on the £45m they paid Eintracht Frankfurt for him 18 months ago.

    Eurosport say fellow Frenchman Giroud, 34, is considering his future after fluctuating spells in and out of Frank Lampard’s starting XI.

    The former Arsenal star's Chelsea contract expires at the end of the season.

  • Ian Tuckey

    NAP DREAM OF EMERSON

    Napoli are reportedly ‘dreaming’ of signing Chelsea left-back Emerson Palmieri.

    Gazzetta dello Sport reports the Italian side are showing a real interest in the fringe Blues star.

    Emerson and outcast Marcos Alonso are both behind Ben Chilwell in Frank Lampard’s pecking order.

  • Josh Graham

    IS HE A KEPA?

    Frank Lampard refused to confirm whether the world's most expensive keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga would be staying or going in January.

    The Blues boss said: "Well at the moment he's our player and I think the situation is clear. Edou's [Mendy] come in, he's been playing regularly as the No1 for us.

    "And when Kepa has come in 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 don't want to be alluding to what might or might not be.”

  • Josh Graham

    PREM COVID CLAMPDOWN

    Premier League bosses laid down the Covid law for the first time since the summer when the protocols were agreed with the Government and scientific experts – and warned there will be sanctions if players continue to hug, shake hands or swap shirts.

    Those regulations demand players wear masks at ALL times on match-day other than when they are playing, engaged in warm-up sessions and giving socially-distanced post-match interviews.

    Clubs must now ensure they follow instructions to transport first team players and staff to matches in three separate coaches.

    In addition, all external staff working for travel services or in hotels used for stays must have returned negative Covid tests, while each club must submit a risk-assessed travel plan to the League for every game.

    Amid suggestions that too many hangers-on have been accessing grounds on match days, clubs have again been ordered to ensure they each have a maximum of 10 representatives in directors’ boxes.

    At training ground, indoor meetings will be banned unless they are fully socially-distanced, with canteens banned other than on matchdays the previous day.

    And clinical passports will be required by players and staff at training ground, with Prem-appointed compliance officers having the right to ask for spot-checks of credentials.

  • Josh Graham

    COVID CHAOS

    Frank Lampard has spoken about the current spread of Covid-19 and its impact on football with more sides suffering outbreaks.

    The Chelsea boss said there are concerns with the current state of the pandemic but that no Chelsea stars have tested positive.

    He praised the club's medical staff for their work to keep the Blues safe.

  • Josh Graham

    TRIPLE BLOW

    Frank Lampard has confirmed that Reece James, Andreas Christensen and N'Golo Kante are all OUT of Sunday's FA Cup tie against Morecambe.

  • Josh Graham

    ED OVER HEELS

    Chelsea hero Eden Hazard revealed the three traits he would love to take from Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane.

    After celebrating his 30th birthday, Hazard was asked what he wanted as a present.

    The Real Madrid playmaker chose three traits from his favourite players.

    Hazard told RTBF: "His left foot," when asked what part of Messi's game he wanted.

    The former Blues star said: "His (Ronaldo's) thirst to win, his thirst for trophies and his desire to always score."

    When asked about his current boss Zidane at Madrid, Hazard replied: "His class. Although I have class, no? But him, he has more."

  • Josh Graham

    FA CUP MEMORIES

    The Blues face Morecambe on Sunday in the FA Cup.

    But eight years ago it was Ramires who stole the show with a double against Portsmouth – note the involvement of current boss Frank Lampard.

  • Josh Graham

    PIAZ OF CAKE

    Chelsea forward Lucas Piazon's move to Braga is reportedly set to be 'made official soon'.

    The Record reports the player is ready to seal a permanent switch to Portugal.

    His Blues contract is up in the summer and he was most recently on loan at Rio Ave.

    Piazon has not appeared for Chelsea in EIGHT years, spending them all on loan, but is technically the Blues' longest serving player.

  • Josh Graham

    ROUD AWAKENING

    West Ham are reportedly interested in Olivier Giroud as David Moyes looks to replace Sebastian Haller.

    Flop Haller was sold to Ajax in a fee believed to be around £25million.

    West Ham are reportedly interested in Olivier GiroudCredit: AFP

    It is around a 50 per cent hit on the £45m the Hammers paid Eintracht Frankfurt 18 months ago.

    Eurosport reports Giroud is considering his future after fluctuating spells in and out of Frank Lampard's starting XI.

    The former Arsenal forward's contract at Stamford Bridge expires at the end of the season.

  • Josh Graham

    GO GET EM

    Napoli are reportedly 'dreaming' of signing Chelsea left-back Emerson Palmieri.

    Gazzetta dello Sport reports the Italian side are showing a real interest in the fringe Blues star.

    Emerson and outcast Marcos Alonso are both behind Ben Chilwell in Frank Lampard's pecking order.

  • Josh Graham

    CHELSEA BOSZ

    Kai Havertz's old manager at Bayern Leverkusen, Peter Bosz, says he doesn't see where the star fits into Frank Lampard's plans.

    The £70million man has failed to hit the ground running at Stamford Bridge after being tried in a number of positions – despite previously lighting up the Bundesliga.

    Frank Lampard has struggled to get Kai Havertz firingCredit: Andy Hooper-The Daily Mail

    Bosz told The Athletic: "As for Kai, I can see why Chelsea brought him in but I cannot yet see the exact idea Frank Lampard has for him.

    "It’s really good that he protects him in the press, though. But in the end, you must deliver, you must score goals and make goals. For a €100 million transfer you must play, and he isn’t.”

  • Josh Graham

    WRIGHT OR WRONG

    Ian Wright has questioned Frank Lampard for blaming his players for the Blues' slump in form.

    Chelsea boss Lampard held his players accountable for the 3-1 defeat by Arsenal on Boxing Day.

    And speaking on Optus Sport's The Kelly and Wrighty Show, Gunners legend Wright said: "What that says to me is that he [Lampard] has obviously had a couple of blasts in the dressing room about their performances.

    "And he’s told them in certain terms that they’re not performing to the levels.

    “But to say it out loud in the public, the players [would] probably feel a little bit aggrieved by that.”

  • Josh Graham

    TEAM OF THE YEAR

    Chelsea players Thiago Silva and Mateo Kovacic have been nominated for video game Fifa's team of the year.

  • Josh Graham

    BRITISH BEEF

    Chelsea are on a mission to land the best young British stars as Brexit has led to restrictions on overseas recruitment.

    Frank Lampard's side have been busy developing relationships around the UK with junior teams including Newcastle City Juniors.

    English clubs will no longer be allowed to sign players from abroad until they turn 18 due to Britain's Brexit deal.

    A points-based system will also be introduced to cap the number of foreign players that are able to play in the UK.

    The Blues have created a link with Newcastle City Juniors – who train just three miles from St James' Park.

    Chelsea have even loaned a state of the art camera system to the youth club to allow them to record training sessions and games.

    According to the Mail, a spokesman from Stamford Bridge said: "Establishing and maintaining good relationships with grassroots clubs up and down the country is something we have always been keen on."

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