London (AFP) – Frank Lampard expects to find out “very soon” whether Chelsea will be free to make any January signings, with the club waiting to learn the outcome of their FIFA transfer ban appeal.
Chelsea’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was heard last month, with the Blues contesting FIFA’s two-window ban relating to the recruitment of minors.
When asked when he expects to discover the result of that appeal, Lampard replied: “Very soon I believe. Days, I think.
“I haven’t heard any more, so I would wait and reserve judgement (on Chelsea’s plans for January) until we get the judgement and see where we want to go from there.”
Fourth-placed Chelsea will give Tammy Abraham “every possible chance” to face Aston Villa on Wednesday as the England striker recovers from a hip injury.
Lampard admitted the 22-year-old, who has scored 10 Premier League goals this season, is still battling pain from the problem he picked up in the 2-2 Champions League draw at Valencia.
“We’re giving him every possible chance to be fit,” said the Chelsea boss, whose side have lost their past two league matches after a fine run.
“He’s still got some pain in the area of the injury. (We will) make a judgement tomorrow. It’s painful for him, so it’s a pain threshold and whether it affects his movements. So I wouldn’t want to commit today.”
Olivier Giroud, who led the line in last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at West Ham, and Belgium’s Michy Batshuayi are continuing to press their claims up front, while US forward Christian Pulisic could operate as a false nine in Abraham’s absence.
Admitting the challenge of keeping his other strikers focused and happy given Abraham’s form, Lampard said: “Yes, in the modern day every manager wants to have that situation.”
“They are training well, supporting the group with a smile on their face and they are happy when we win,” he added. “They are determined to help if we don’t, whether they are starting or not.
“Those are the rules of modern football. Of course, it is a challenge and everyone is a human and they want to play every week. So I have to be aware of that at the same time.”
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