CHELSEA remain active in the transfer market despite racking up a 3-1 opening day win at Brighton.
The Blues are reportedly ready to offer Emerson Palmieri as a makeweight for Declan Rice while a move for Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is said to be on the verge of going through.
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Get all the latest transfer gossip and updates from Stamford Bridge…
'NOT AT THE MOMENT'
Frank Lampard has told Chelsea fans not to be too confident of any more signings.
When asked if any arrivals were incoming, he said: “No, not at the moment. Not at the moment.
“We've got a big squad now so we have to manage that and determine how we move forward in terms of getting the right level of competition within the squad.
“But no news on that one at the minute.”
BRIGHTON 0 CHELSEA 1
THE fear for Chelsea’s kids was they would be left out in the cold after Frank Lampard’s £200million trolley dash this summer.
But Reece James’ thunderbolt and Timo Werner’s electric debut proved there is room for both the youngsters and the superstars at the Blues this season.
Werner, signed for £45m from RB Leipzig, showed the sort of blistering pace on his first outing to give defenders across the league nightmares already.
And it was that speed that outfoxed Maty Ryan to allow Jorginho to break the deadlock from the penalty spot in the first half.
Chelsea certainly did not have things all their own way though and a resolute Brighton hit back through Leandro Trossard’s thunderbolt.
But the Belgian was outdone seconds later as academy kid James walloped in his first league goal for the club from 25 yards.
Kurt Zouma’s heavily-deflected strike then settled the contest, handing Lampard the perfect start to a season where the pressure has ratched considerably following the summer spree.
The Blues legend has been backed heavily after guiding the club to the Champions League without a single penny spent last year.
He unleashed £117m worth of talent here though as Werner and Kai Havertz started.
It was a quiet bow for Havertz but Werner looked very sharp with some graceful movement, a precise touch and that rapid pace.
No wonder Jurgen Klopp has been so sore about emerging rival Lampard’s mega-spending.
Because one look at Werner and it is clear the German striker would have suited Klopp’s heavy-metal football down to the ground.
Liverpool’s cash-flow issues allowed Lampard to steal in and he already looks to have a player capable of elevating Chelsea to a level where they can genuinely compete with the Reds.
Lampard warned fans not to expect too much too soon from Havertz and Werner, with the former only having trained with his new team-mates for a week.
But the Blues boss could not hide his excitement over the pair by adding pre-game: “I love them, they’re good team-mates already”.
If they can be half as good as the partnership their new boss struck up with Didier Drogba, then Lampard could really be onto something.
Werner’s pace caused issues instantly and were it not for a few close offside calls, Brighton’s backline would have been in trouble inside the opening seven minutes.
It was less a case of Werner not being on his new team-mates’ wavelength – more them not being on his with some delayed passing.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek, a surprise starter after his 16 months of injury hell, looked particularly rusty in the false-nine role and was guilty of failing to pick Werner out on occasion.
The Jet-heeled German made the difference in the first half when Jorginho played him through, after picking up on Steven Alzate’s loose pass, and Ryan took him out.
Werner took the penalties at Leipzig – at Tottenham discovered in the Champions League last term.
But at Chelsea that responsibility appears to be staying with Jorginho, who did his customary hop-skip before sending Ryan the wrong way.
Brighton rallied though and before James took centre-stage, it was another right-back made in Chelsea that shone brightest.
Tariq Lamptey left Stamford Bridge for the Amex in January and has been a revelation ever since.
Like Werner, his pace is a huge strength but the 19-year-old’s biggest asset is his fearlessness, showing no fear or respect for whoever he comes up against.
That certainly was the case with Marcos Alonso here as Lamptey drove at the Spaniard time and time again.
Even with the enormous strength in depth England have at right-back, Gareth Southgate’s attending No2 Steve Holland could not help but be impressed.
And it was Lamptey who laid it back to Trossard before the recently-capped Belgian beautifully the bottom corner from outside the box.
It would be harsh to say Kepa Arrizabalaga made a gaffe by not saving it.
But it would hardly have endeared him further to Lampard, who is closing in on stopper Edouard Mendy from Rennes.
Any blushes Kepa may have had were quickly spared by James, who belted into the top corner from 25 yards.
And the 20-year-old added an assist on 66 minutes as Zouma fired in his corner via a wicked deflection off Adam Webster – after Lewis Dunk had missed a sitter.
That killed the contest for Brighton, who lost new-signing Adam Lallana to a suspected hamstring problem in the first half.
A perfect performance it was not for Lampard who will know there is much to work on as new signings bed in with his youngsters.
But it was a perfect result – and this year for Lampard, that is what matters most.
CAN'T KEP IT OUT
Damning stats reveal Kepa has conceded more goals from outside the box than any other keeper since he signed in 2018 after letting in 19.
TAKE A BOW
A look at Reece James' strike that got Chelsea back in the lead after Kepa's blunder.
Chelsea go 3-1 up after James' corner is met by Kurt Zouma and his deflected effort goes past Mat Ryan.
To follow the action head over to our live blog here.
Brightonlevelled with a Trossard effort from outside the box.
But Reece James ha restored Chelsea's lead with a stunning effort from range.
Chelsea lead 2-1.
The Blues go into the dressing room 1-0 up thanks to Jorginho's penalty.
Kai Havertz has had moments of brightness but is playing out wide – away from his favourable central position.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount have had a quiet opener.
Jorginho opens the scoring from the spot after Timo Werner won the penalty.
Chelsea lead Brighton 1-0 after 23 minutes.
To follow the action head over to our live blog here.
Live snaps as the Chelsea squad put in the final touches of their pre-match preparation.
Chelsea players have arrived and ready for their first game of the new season away at Brighton.
Frank Lampard gives debuts to Kai Havertz and Timo Werner.
But there is no room for Callum Hudson-Odoi, who is benched.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount also start.
FRESH RAN WATER
Danny Drinkwater could land a shock reunion with Claudio Ranieri at Sampdoria.
The midfielder's career has fallen apart amid personal problems since joining Chelsea in 2017, a year after winning the Premier League under Ranieri at Leicester.
And Italy's Il Secolo XIX newspaper suggest an intermediary has asked Sampdoria if they want to consider the three-cap ex-England ace, 30.
Meanwhile, Drinkwater has opened up on his incredible saga of the past two years, including headbutting a team-mate, being attacked in a club and drink-driving.
A sports psychologist is helping the Chelsea outcast as he battles back from playing just six times on loan for Burnley and Aston Villa last season.
HAV-ING IT LARGE
Chelsea made good use of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Bayer Leverkusen chief Rudi Voller.
He told Bild: “Chelsea simply made good use of the coronavirus period.
“Next year it would have been much harder for Chelsea to get Kai.
“Other interested teams preferred to hold back because of the high transfer fee in this special and uncertain time.
“We also have significant revenue losses in times of the coronavirus.
“And we will, of course, take that into account and certainly not completely reinvest the transfer fee we got for Kai.
“Although we still have to do something to maintain the level or to improve.”
A look at Chelsea's away kit they wear for their Premier League opener against Brighton tonight.
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Chelsea will try to tempt West Ham into selling Declan Rice by using Emerson Palmieri as a bargaining chip, according to reports.
The Hammers are determined to keep hold of Rice, 21, despite strong interest from Blues boss Frank Lampard.
Chelsea transfer chief Marina Granovskaia is considering offering full-back Emerson in part-exchange for the England international.
The Athletic claims West Ham are only interested in improving their squad and do not want to see one of their key players head for the exit door.
They would, however, be interested in a move for Emerson without him arriving as part of a swap deal.
Reports last month suggested the Stamford Bridge outfit had slapped a £23million price tag on the Italy international.
Former Chelsea star Oscar revealed Willian and David Luiz have tried to tempt him to Arsenal.
The Brazilian trio all played at Chelsea together, but Luiz was this summer joined at the Emirates by Willian.
And they wanted Oscar to link up with them again.
He revealed: “They called me, they had to call me. Because we have good communication. Sometimes I talk to them. They said ‘come to Arsenal, come here’
“But for me it’s a little more difficult. I have a contract with Shanghai, it’s a little more difficult to leave. Willian had finished the contract.
“I was happy that they got together again. And happy that Willian is happy. The most important thing is to be happy, regardless of the place. So I hope they are happy there.”
The Premier League has returned with a bang this weekend – but it's not over yet.
And tonight it is the return of Chelsea as they take on Brighton.
Ahead of the Blues away trip, we have some betting tips for the game including Christian Pulisic to score and over 2.5 goals during the match.
Click here for more.
Gary Neville claims Manchester United and Chelsea have no chance of winning the title as long as Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola remain in the Premier League.
Hetold The Mirror: “The one thing I can guarantee you is that United will win again.
“That might not be this year or next year, but it will be amazing when they win again, and the longer it builds up, the greater the actual feeling is when you do it.
“It will be, maybe, when Klopp and Guardiola leave Liverpool and City – hopefully in the next couple of years!
“That will be the chance, as they’re two outstanding managers who have built really good teams, but they’ll leave in the next one, two or three years.
“That will be the point when United can come back in and capitalise – I’m sure Chelsea are thinking that way as well.”
CAL ON ME
Callum Hudson-Odoi was told that he could be loaned out this season after the signing of Kai Havertz, according to reports.
The England winger could struggle for game-time after the Blues brought in a number of new players this summer.
Chelsea's £72million signing Havertz has joined Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner this summer in an exciting attacking trio that could keep Hudson-Odoi struggling for first-team action.
And according to 90min, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has told the wide man that he could be sent out on loan.
Hudson-Odoi started just seven Premier League games last season, after recovering from an achilles injury.
Here are the Blues' upcoming games.
And in case you needed reminding, THE SEASON STARTS TONIGHT.
CHILLY'S WARM WELCOME
Mason Mount has already revealed Ben Chilwell's nickname around Cobham.
The Chelsea midfielder told Sky Sports: “Some of them we know very well, like Ben – Chilly – he’s come in and been around the boys quickly.
“I haven’t seen him for a long time because I was away with England.
“The German boys have come in, brilliant players, they add something to the group.
“Hakim as well, Thiago I haven’t met yet, he seems like a brilliant player.
“It’s all about competition at this club – world class players and they’re going to make all of us better.”
Today would have been Chelsea legend Ray Wilkins' 64th birthday.
This phone call to talkSPORT from a former homeless man sums up the character of the guy perfectly.
Here's to you, Butch.
Frank Lampard has revealed he phoned Christian Pulisic to offer him the No10 shirt at Chelsea after Willian left the club.
Eden Hazard had previously worn the figure on the back of his shirt, while American Pulisic was drafted in as the Belgian’s long-term replacement.
Lampard said: “He came last year and Willian was almost the man in waiting at the club to take the No 10 shirt and I think it was right he took it with his experience.
“When it became open I think what Christian delivered in his first year more than warranted that he gets the shirt and what it means.”
Danny Drinkwater could be offered an exit from his Chelsea nightmare with a switch to Claudio Ranieri’s Sampdoria.
The 2015-16 Premier League winning midfielder played just six games on loan at Aston Villa and Burnley last season.
And he revealed he is not just at Chelsea for the money last week in an interview with the Telegraph.
Now Drinkwater, 30, has been linked with a switch to Sampdoria, where British stars such as David Platt and Graeme Souness have thrived in the past.
According to Il Secolo XIX, an intermediary has been in touch with both parties to try and spark a deal.
POTENTIAL FORMATIONS: 4-5-1
The final selection is the most-defensive setup, which I would not expect to see very often but can be useful if we are defending a lead against a strong attacking opponent.
James, Silva, Zouma and Chilwell remain the first-choice back-four – but Azpilicueta would start at right-back in this formation to allow James a more advanced role.
The five in midfield would feature Jorginho in the holding spot, Kante and Kovacic just ahead of him, with Mason Mount and James as the wide midfielders.
Giroud would get the nod up top as a target man outlet for the inevitable long balls that come with such a defensive line-up.
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