'If I want Messi, Ronaldo & Mbappe I might get knocked back!' – Lampard explains Chelsea transfer process

The Blues boss doesn’t expect a major signing in January but has detailed the structure around how business is done in west London

Frank Lampard has admitted that he wants a “big say” in Chelsea’s transfer business after seeing the club’s transfer ban overturned.

Chelsea can enter the January market having seen the Court of Arbitration for Sport reduce their two-window transfer ban to a single window.

After overcoming FIFA’s ban, Chelsea have targeted the signing of Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha and Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell, among others.

Lampard revealed the inner workings of how the Blues will go about their business and what role he will take in the upcoming discussions.

“I have had very open conversations with (Chelsea director) Marina (Granovskaia) which is speaking to the owner as far as I’m concerned,” Lampard told reporters at Cobham Training Centre. “I can speak to either of those, but mainly Marina. And the scouting department, and Petr Cech.

“And of course I sit with my staff daily for hours, we talk about the team and how we can improve and of course at some points, you start thinking about the longer-term future. The conversations have been very open to this point so I am happy with it. But of course, we haven’t bought anyone.

“If I say I want [Kylian] Mbappe, [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi for my front three I might get knocked back! I wouldn’t say that, but it’s a balance where I can put forward a recommendation and have an open conversation with the owner and hope we move forward in the right direction.

“I’m very open about that. My biggest thing here is how hard can we work on the training ground because I know we have a good squad, that’s my main concern. Of course, when it comes to recruitment, I want to have a big say in it and we are very open.”

Another player on Chelsea’s radar is Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake, who has a £40 million ($53m) buyback clause in his deal after the Blues sold him to the Cherries in 2017.

As well at targeting new signings, the Blues may see some of their squad players leave this January with Olivier Giroud, Pedro and Marcos Alonso all on the fringes of Lampard’s plans. Lampard says he hasn’t banned talks of moves away but that no player has asked him for an exit from the club yet.

“I haven’t banned the talk but I am not going to set out to engage in it,” Lampard added. “If players want to come and see me and talk then I will happily have a conversation with them individually but that hasn’t happened.

“I think the thing with the young players. I haven’t felt the need to have that conversation. I speak to them regularly. I can be, not hard on them, but I push them and drive them if I can in training because I think they need that but, I do think they feel the trust I have in them because with all of them they know I’m prepared to give them the opportunities and chances if they train well and they come in the team and play well, so I haven’t needed to have the conversation about who may come in.

“I think they should naturally feel a little bit of tension all the time so that’s not the worst thing. They also just need to work and believe in their own talents because their talent is there for all to see and we have to be patient with that because it may take different periods of time for them to fully blossom as players.

“[There] might be a period in and out of the team, have a run of the games and then not. I am prepared to stick with them through that because I really believe in them.”

Despite their transfer ban in the summer, the Blues remain in fourth place in the Premier League and they have qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League.

Lampard has achieved results by recalling a host of academy products from their loan moves including Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori. He has assured his youngsters that Chelsea has changed from being purely a transfer club to one that will continue to bring them through to the first team.

“If I start to look at where I can strengthen the squad, it’s certainly not going to be a slant on the young players or anything. I think we all here have seen this summer and what’s happened here since the summer that the idea of going into the academy and giving these boys a chance is a really good one because they have deserved it.

“They haven’t been getting that so much in the past so I do think maybe we have changed our minds a little bit on that one, Of course, we do need to stay competitive, that will never change but people have been very pleased to see that and I certainly am.

“I think that is the balance and in an ideal world, that’s what you have. We now from investment and time spent in the academy that was always the desire you want players to come through it helps you in terms of producing yourself and then at the same time whatever your club is striving you want to bring in players around that so that’s the clear balance we are looking for.”