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Barkley will stay with Chelsea, says Lampard


London (AFP) – Frank Lampard says Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley will not be allowed to leave during the January transfer window despite reported interest from West Ham.

West Ham manager David Moyes is said to be keen on a loan deal for Barkley after the pair worked together at Everton.

But Lampard is keen to keep the 26-year-old England international at Stamford Bridge after his recent return to form.

Lampard criticised Barkley earlier this season for lacking professionalism after a row with a taxi driver during a night out in Liverpool.

But Barkley, who has made only six league starts this term, is back from a nagging foot injury and impressed during Chelsea’s win over Burnley last weekend, prompting Blues boss Lampard to insist the midfielder remains firmly in his plans.

“There’s no talk here of Ross Barkley going anywhere; he’s our player,” Lampard told reporters on Friday.

“He’s played the last couple of games and done very well. I’ve got a lot of faith in Ross.

“I’m very happy with him.”

Olivier Giroud is another player linked with a move after Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte, a former Chelsea boss, reportedly expressed interest in the France striker.

Giroud has barely featured for Chelsea since Lampard took charge last year but, although the 33-year-old is said to be keen to leave, his manager made it clear he has had no problems with his attitude.

“If everything is right it might happen but it’s not, so whilst it’s not he’s our player,” Lampard said.

Unlike Giroud, Reece James should be at Chelsea for years to come after the promising defender signed a new deal that ties him to the club until 2025.

The 20-year-old right-back has enjoyed a breakthrough season after spending last season on loan in the Championship with Wigan.

“I rate him very highly, I knew him as a youth player in the academy here,” Lampard said.

“I saw him on loan last year where he did fantastically well at Wigan. I tried to get him to Derby but he couldn’t come in mid-season.”

Lampard also said Chelsea were not on the brink of any January signings, despite the club reportedly being in the market for a new striker, midfielder and left-back.

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