Chelsea suspend academy loans ahead of mass debut of FA Cup fixture with Morecambe

The Blues are active in the transfer market but have suspended loan talks for several youngsters as they consider their cut options

Chelsea have halted loan talks for academy players until mid-January to allow Frank Lampard to select as many Under-23 stars as possible for the FA Cup third round game with Morecambe.

Tino Anjorin, Henry Lawrence and Lewis Bate are among the youngsters who will likely debut against the League Two side at Stamford Bridge on January 10.

However, the game remains uncertain after several Morecambe players tested positive for Covid-19, leading to the cancellation of the league clashes with Bolton and Bradford.

The Blues’ next opponents Manchester City have also called off their recent fixture with Everton for the same reason, but Chelsea are operating on a standstill approach until the Premier League says otherwise.

“I think this is a key period and a difficult time,” Lampard said after his side’s 1-1 draw against Aston Villa on Monday. “I think we felt level 4 came with the surge [in Covid-19 cases]. We need to make safety a priority.

“I think that’s why the game was called off, because of the gap in the Man City squad. From our point of view, I’ll find out in a day or two because that has to be sure. for both teams, otherwise the game will not proceed.

“I think the Premier League will lead us on this, but yes it’s a tough time. I’m not surprised because the way Covid is in the UK is tough for everyone. Football isn’t not different all the time, so we’ll have to see what the Premier League has to offer. But safety is paramount. “

Discussions are now underway on a possible two-week shutdown of English football to overcome the large spike in Covid-19 cases that has hit the UK.

Behind the scenes, Chelsea are working on the transfer market.

Fikayo Tomori is looking for a loan exit having not played for Chelsea since September and has interests from Newcastle as well as from overseas clubs.

However, Tomori’s future is tied to that of Antonio Rudiger, who is also considering leaving the club to ensure his selection for Euro 2020.

Both Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso are sparking interest after struggling for playing time since Ben Chilwell’s arrival.

Atletico Madrid are said to be interested in Alonso after Inter attempted a credit buyout this summer. Emerson is happy to stay at Chelsea, having had assurances about his status with the Italian national team, but he is also reportedly considering offers to return to Serie A.

Kepa Arrizabalaga could also leave in January, but it is highly unlikely that a club will pay a transfer fee or the full salary of signing the club’s record of £ 72million ($ 95million). Olivier Giroud was willing to leave Chelsea in January, but he relaxed his stance after a series of games.

Danny Drinkwater and Baba Rahman are looking for loans, having been stuck with the Under-23s after failing to win moves over the summer.

For Rahman, there are clubs lining up to take him on a six-month loan. Two anonymous clubs in Spain and France are leading the way, its future to be decided in the next fortnight. The Ghana international has been injured for two years, but is back in great shape and playing for the Chelsea development team.

Chelsea also recently rejected a £ 3million offer from Rostov for in-form Ike Ugbo, who has scored 10 goals in 16 games on loan at Cercle Brugge. The 22-year-old forward will be cleared to leave if a £ 5million offer arrives.

Charly Musonda is back in training after a 15-month injury nightmare, but he will need to prove his fitness to Cobham before considering a loan deal.

West Ham’s Declan Rice remains Chelsea’s main transfer target but the Hammers will resist his sale and competition is expected to emerge from the rest of the top six for the England international.

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