8.45am Chelsea transfer news LIVE: Lampard job 'at risk', Rice LATEST, Giroud to Juventus link, Donnarumma talks

CHELSEA are reeling from their chastening defeat to Manchester City last night as Pep Guardiola's side put them to the sword.

Frank Lampard is under serious pressure at Stamford Bridge now after struggling to get his expensively-assembled team to gel.

Follow all the latest below…

  • Josh Graham

    PALM READER

    Napoli reportedly need to offload two players before they can make their move for Emerson Palmieri.

    The Italian club are interested in signing the Chelsea outcast on loan this month.

    But according to Corriere dello Sport, Napoli must first make room for his arrival.

    Everton target Arkadiusz Milik is expected to be one of the players that is sold this month.

    Napoli are also reportedly planning to offload either Kevin Malcuit or Faouzi Ghoulam.

    Emerson is up for grabs as he has fallen out of favour under struggling boss Frank Lampard.

    The 26-year-old has only featured twice for the Blues in the Premier League this season but remains under contract at Stamford Bridge until the end of 2021-22 campaign.

  • Alex Terrell

    THE SHOW MUST GO ON

    Prem chiefs received the news they needed from Boris Johnson: The show can go on, writes MARTIN LIPTON.

    The Prime Minister announced a new national lockdown last night as the mutant Covid strains spread out of control.

    But even though League bosses are set to reveal today that there were a record number of positive tests among clubs last week, elite football received the green light to keep playing.

    The Premier League had spent recent weeks liaising with the Government in a bid to ensure football was not shut down again.

    Those fears abated after the Scottish Government expressly excluded "those involved in professional sports, for training, coaching or competing in an event" from the "stay at home" order. The UK Government then followed suit.

    The ruling extends to the FA Cup, allowing minnows Marine and Chorley ? as well as National League Boreham Wood and Stockport ? to play their third-round ties.

  • Gary Stonehouse

    GOOD MORNING BLUES FANS

    The Premier League will be allowed to continue behind closed doors despite England going back into a national lockdown.

    PM Boris Johnson addressed the nation last night to confirm tighter restrictions across the country but there is an exemption for elite sport, meaning professional football will carry on.

    Pressure is mounting on Frank Lampard as his side’s dire run of form continues.

    His side have won just one of their last seven matches – losing four of their last six – and he is among the favourites to be the next top-flight manager sacked, although SunSport understands he is not in immediate danger of the axe.

    A SunSport poll suggested the majority of fans want Roman Abramovich to stick by the legendary midfielder for the time being.

    However, should they decide to get rid, Thomas Tuchel would likely be the No1 choice to replace him.

    The German was sacked by PSG last month, despite taking the club to the Champions League final in August.

    And that appointment would be popular with the supporters as 29 per cent want Tuchel.

    Julian Nagelsmann, Brendan Rodgers and Max Allegri have also been touted while Andriy Shevchenko's name was also thrown into the ring.

    Phil Thompson revealed Lampard and Shevchenko's former team-mate John Terry came close to joining Liverpool in 2003 before staying put in West London.

    Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo opened the door for a transfer for Olivier Giroud this month as the Frenchman struggles for consistent game time.

    When asked about a potential move for Giroud, Pirlo told DAZN: "He'd be handy!"

    The Blues look to have missed out on David Alaba with the Austrian set to join Real Madrid for free at the end of the season.

    And ex-striker Diego Costa would reportedly 'love' a return to the Premier League with Wolves keen on the free agent.

  • Joshua Jones

    CHELSEA DOWN TO NINTH

    The Blues slipped a further place down the Premier League table thanks to Southampton's 1-0 win over Liverpool.

    Danny Ings finished expertly with just two minutes on the clock to inflict the damage on his old side.

    And the result lifted Saints up to sixth, four points off the top, leapfrogging Chelsea in the process.

  • Joshua Jones

    BEING FRANK

    Chelsea are ready to move for Thomas Tuchel if boss Frank Lampard fails to turn things around.

    Lampard is under mounting pressure following an alarming dip in form — but SunSport understands he is in no immediate danger of being sacked.

    Yet the sudden availability of Tuchel, following his axing by Paris Saint-Germain last month, has put Stamford Bridge chiefs on alert with a view to a possible change in the summer if results do not improve.

    Tuchel reached the Champions League final with PSG last season and was linked with taking over at Arsenal before Mikel Arteta got the job just over a year ago.

    It is understood the German, 47, is keen for his next role to be in the Premier League.

  • Joshua Jones

    DAVE DELIGHT

    Cesar Azpilicueta made his 400th Chelsea appearance in the weekend clash against Manchester City.

    The Spaniard – nicknamed Dave – joined the Blues from Marseille in 2012 and has been a consistent performer throughout his time at Stamford Bridge.

    He has lifted two Premier Leagues, the FA Cup, the League Cup as well as two Europa Leagues and is now the club captain.

  • Joshua Jones

    BREAKING NEWS

    The Premier League will be allowed to continue behind closed doors despite England going back into a national lockdown.

    PM Boris Johnson addressed the nation this evening to confirm tighter restrictions across the country.

    But there is an exemption for elite sport, meaning professional football will carry on.

    The Premier League has had four matches postponed this season due to Covid-10 outbreaks at Manchester City, Fulham and Newcastle – while a further 52 have been scrapped across the EFL.

  • Joshua Jones

    DIE-ING TO COME BACK

    Diego Costa would reportedly 'love' to return to the Premier League with Wolves eyeing a free transfer.

    The ex-Chelsea striker is a free agent after Atletico Madrid terminated his contract with immediate effect – six months ahead of schedule.

    Arsenal were also initially linked with a move before SunSport exclusively revealed Nuno Espirito Santo’s interest.

    Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano told Sky Sports News: "Costa would love to return to the Premier League.

    "He had some bids from Brazilian and Turkish clubs since he ended his contract with Atletico Madrid but he decided to wait a bit.

    "He hopes to receive some bids from the Premier League. There are a lot of rumours but nothing advanced.

    "But for sure, Diego is waiting for a call from the Premier League. He would love to come back, he loves the atmosphere. Let's see.”

  • Joshua Jones

    ALL KINDS OF HASSEL

    Ex-Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is making an example of Dele Alli at Tottenham.

    That’s according to Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who claims the Special One treated him the same way at Stamford Bridge 17 years ago.

    The Dutchman, now back managing League One Burton Albion, believes Mourinho is purely doing it to show he can take down a big player in the changing room.

    Hasselbaink told the Mail: “Mourinho wanted to use me as an example, that’s how he managed.

    “He wanted to show that he could let big players go. I was still top scorer, even though two really good strikers had signed that season.

    “Mourinho wanted to show who was boss, and I was the one he used. Yes, Chelsea then won the league, but I could have added to the team that year.

    “But Mourinho has always done that. He’s doing it now with Dele Alli at Spurs. That’s how he manages, that’s how he gets success, you can’t fault him.”

  • Joshua Jones

    HAPPY SHEVA AFTER?

    Chelsea are considering Andriy Shevchenko as their next manager, according to reports.

    SunSport understands that, despite the poor run, Frank Lampard's position isn't under immediate threat despite the poor run of form – but should the slump continue, their position may change.

    And if so, Le10Sport claim that Chelsea could swap one inexperienced former player for another in Shevchenko.

    Sheva is currently boss of the Ukraine national team, a position he has held since 2016, having never managed anywhere else.

    He has won 21 of his 40 games in charge, and most recently guided his side to Euro 2020 by topping a group that also contained European champions Portugal.

    Despite struggling as a player at Chelsea, Shevchenko remains well thought of by owner Roman Abramovich and is claimed to be on their radar as a manager.

    After his £30million move from AC Milan in 2006, the Ukrainian toiled, managing only 22 goals in 77 outings for the Blues.

    Credit: Times Newspapers Ltd
  • Joshua Jones

    TUCH & GO

    But should Roman Abramovich pull the trigger and get rid of Lampard, supporters want to see Thomas Tuchel take over.

    The German was axed by Paris Saint-German last month, months after taking them to the Champions League final.

    In a SunSport poll, 29 per cent of voters opted for Tuchel to be their preferred replacement.

    He narrowly beat RB Leipzig gaffer Julian Nagelsmann who was just two per cent behind on 27.

    And Max Allegri and Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers came in third and fourth respectively with 23 and 21 per cent.

  • Joshua Jones

    FRANK ASSESSMENT

    Blues fans do not want Frank Lampard sacked.

    The boss admitted he is ‘feeling the heat’ having won just one of his past five Premier League matches.

    But supporters told SunSport they are sticking by their legendary former midfielder in a poll conducted on Monday.

    To the question 'Should Chelsea sack Lampard?', 43 per cent of Blues supporters answered 'Yes, going backwards'.

    But 57 per cent were keen on their boss to stay answering 'No, give him time'.

  • Joshua Jones

    JT WAS REDDY

    John Terry shook hands over a shock Liverpool transfer according to Kop legend Phil Thompson.

    Terry was very close to joining the Reds in 2003 after speaking to Gerard Houllier at the end of the season – before his illustrious Blues career had really got going.

    Former Liverpool assistant manager Thompson told Paddy Power: "In the final game of the 2002-03 season, it was a shoot-out between Liverpool and Chelsea for the last Champions League place.

    "This was just before Roman Abramovich came in. We’d heard Chelsea were in dire straits, and they weren’t going to offer Frank Lampard or John Terry a contract.

    "After the game, as Chelsea were doing a lap of honour, Gerard Houllier said to me that Terry was a bit of a player. I agreed, adding I didn’t think they’d offered him a contract.

    "So Houllier went and shook John Terry’s hand and asked ‘How would you like to play for Liverpool?’ and John said, ‘I’d love to, Mr Houllier.’

    "After, we sent one of our coaches in to the players’ lounge and asked John for his agent’s phone number.

    "John said, ‘I’ll do more than that, here’s my personal telephone number, ask him to give us a call’.

    "And a couple of weeks later, Abramovich took over, and his first dealings were signing Terry and Lampard to big contracts – so we were that far away from getting him."

  • Josh Graham

    JULIUS CESAR

    It wasn't all bad news for Chelsea on Sunday.

    Despite the 3-1 hammering dished out by Manchester City at Stamford Bridge, club captain Cesar Azpilicueta made his 400th appearance for the Blues.

    What a milestone!

  • Josh Graham

    LAMP ON IT

    Brendan Rodgers and Thomas Tuchel have emerged as the bookies' favourites to replace Frank Lampard at Chelsea.

    The Blues boss is under huge pressure at Stamford Bridge after his side’s form nosedived over the festive period.

    Chelsea dropped to eighth after Sunday's 3-1 defeat to Manchester City and notoriously impatient owner Roman Abramovich could wield the axe on the club legend.

  • Josh Graham

    BOSS THE LOT

    Frank Lampard is on dangerously thin ice at Chelsea.

    Sunday's 3-1 defeat to Manchester City has left Lamps' job as manager under serious threat.

    But how does the Chelsea legend compared to the Prem's other top men in charge?

  • Josh Graham

    AL OVER

    Chelsea have been dealt a blow after Real Madrid reportedly beat Barcelona to the signing of Bayern Munich ace David Alaba.

    Marca reports Los Blancos have edged out their El Clasico rivals in the race to land the experienced defender.

    David Alaba appears to be heading for Real MadridCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    The player’s agent Pini Zhavi offered Alaba – who made clear his desire to leave the German giants with his contract expiring in the summer – to a number of European clubs.

    But Madrid appears to be the most likely destination leaving Premier League sides, including the Blues and Manchester United disappointed.

    Barcelona are believed to have been put off by the financial aspect of any potential deal.

  • Josh Graham

    CHRISTMAS BLUES

    Chelsea are enduring their second worst-EVER to a Premier League season in the Roman Abramovich era.

    Sunday’s 3-1 home defeat to Manchester City piled on the pressure for beleaguered boss Frank Lampard.

    He has now lost four of his last six league matches, picking up just one win against West Ham.

    Chelsea have slipped to eighth in the table as a result, having gained only 26 points with seven wins from 17 games.

    That is the second worst start to a season during all 17 years of owner Abramovich’s Stamford Bridge reign.

    Only during Jose Mourinho's second spell in charge, in the 2015/16 season, have they had a worse start with Abramovich at the helm.

    That year they had 18 points after 17 games, leading to Jose leaving for the second time in December.

  • Josh Graham

    BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER

    Pressure is mounting on Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge.

    And the stats have revealed he has the worst Premier League points-per-game record of any Blues boss in the Roman Abramovich era.

  • Josh Graham

    ‘HANDY’ MAN

    Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo has opened the door for a sensational move for Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud.

    The Frenchman, 34, has fallen down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge in recent months, playing second fiddle to Tammy Abraham and Timo Werner.

    Olivier Giroud has been linked with a move to JuventusCredit: PA:Press Association

    When asked about a potential move for Giroud, Pirlo said told DAZN: "He'd be handy!

    "The window opens tomorrow, we already discussed with the club what we want to do and if there are any opportunities. Maybe a striker that can rotate with our strikers."

    Giroud's recent purple patch – eight goals in his last Prem and Champions League appearances for Chelsea – is what has caught the attention of Pirlo.

  • Josh Graham

    RODGER THAT

    Frank Lampard is fighting for his job as Chelsea boss but Roman Abramovich reportedly won’t appoint Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers if he wields the axe.

    Rodgers has enjoyed much success at the King Power since leaving Celtic in February 2019.

    However, Stamford Bridge bosses are unlikely to consider Rodgers if they decide to make a change, according to The Athletic.

    They reported last year that comments made by the Northern Irish manager while in charge of Liverpool upset the Chelsea hierarchy.

    Ex-Blues youth coach Rodgers had taken Victor Moses on loan from his old side and stated that he had now joined a 'massive' club.

  • Josh Graham

    BLUE IT

    Gary Neville blasted Chelsea’s midfield three as ‘nowhere near good enough’ after the home humbling against Manchester City.

    Frank Lampard is feeling the heat after the 3-1 dismantling at Stamford Bridge and pundit Neville took aim at N’Golo Kante, Mason Mount and Mateo Kovacic.

    He told Sky Sports: “I have to say the midfield of Kante, Mount and Kovacic have been nowhere near good enough.

    “It’s been nowhere near good enough in this last 20 minutes. They’ve allowed Manchester City to get a real grip in this game. The full backs of Chilwell and Azpilicueta have really struggled but it’s that midfield that has really struggled to get a grip.”

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