Dembele not a target for Chelsea boss Lampard despite Giroud edging towards exit

The Blues boss has played down links to the Lyon striker and says “nothing is close” when it comes to possible additions in the January window

Moussa Dembele has been mooted as a potential target for Chelsea in the January window, but Frank Lampard claims the Lyon striker is not an option that has figured prominently in his thoughts.

It has been suggested that the Blues are prepared to spend big on bringing the former Celtic frontman back to British football from France.

He is one of several options that Lampard and Co are said to have in their sights, with further firepower being sought now that a transfer embargo has been lifted.

The Chelsea boss has, however, sought to distance himself from a talented 23-year-old frontman.

Quizzed on the links to Dembele, Lampard said: “He is a player I know and the club know. I am surprised to see his name pop up so regularly when it is not popping up so regularly in my conversations to be brutally honest.

“There are quite a few players in the last week that I can say the same about. I respect and I know he is another team’s player. Of course, and I have spoken about, the need to strengthen in high areas with goalscorers.

“We have been found pretty short in the home games recently. The idea of people being clinical – they are hard to find. I will only go that way if I know we are improving the squad that we have already.

“At the minute, we are still working very hard on the training ground and in games to get that right ourselves. I don’t want to go cut and dry on anybody [regarding Dembele], as I said to you, it is not one I am openly talking about. If it is a decision then I will be a big part of that decision.”

Talk of Chelsea bringing in another striker has intensified amid the rumours that attacking departures are imminent in west London.

Michy Batshuayi has been linked with another loan spell away from Stamford Bridge, while Olivier Giroud is still searching for regular game time.

The World Cup-winning Frenchman is closing in on a move to Serie A giants Inter, but Lampard insists no agreement has been reached as yet.

He said of Giroud: “I said it after our last game, with Oli the situation is if it is right for everybody, first and foremost that’s us the club, because he is under contract then we will look at whether he will leave the club.

“I think he has been a great professional here. He has trained brilliantly through this season even without many opportunities. So I hold him in a high regard in that respect but I still have to make a decision for the football club and nothing is done yet.

“I think everyone is talking about it [Giroud potentially leaving] so I am not going to beat around the bush. I think his agent has spoken to the club [Inter] but until we decide it is the right thing then it is not done.”

Lampard added on whether any transfers are imminent: “No, not at the moment but when I say that, what is close? It is January. I have said if it is right then we will look at it. We are not imminent, you are not going to have any big news today or tomorrow.”

Chelsea, who continue to occupy fourth spot in the Premier League table, will be back in action on Saturday when they take in a home date with Burnley.

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