Frank Lampard has declared the transfer window ’95 per cent shut for us’ as the January deadline approaches and insisted Olivier Giroud would remain at Stamford Bridge for the second half of the season.
The boss was speaking at his customary pre-match press conference at Cobham ahead of our Premier League trip to Leicester and also had news on the fitness of Tammy Abraham, though he started with an update on whether there would be any last-minute incomings or outgoings.
‘The window is probably 95 per cent shut for us and no ins means no outs,’ he stated. ‘I know there are hours left of it but the answer would be no to most of the players we’ve been linked with.
‘I wouldn’t say it’s been frustrating as I’m very aware of how football is. Some things are not in my control so my first thought is always what happens on the training pitch. It’s clear we wanted to bring players in and I’ve made that pretty clear over the last weeks but it hasn’t happened.’
Lampard’s claim that no signings means no departures means Giroud will remain part of his squad, despite consistent speculation throughout the month linking the French forward with a move.
‘Olivier Giroud in this window has been incredible as a professional and as a man,' he revealed. 'We all know that there’s been interest and I’ve sat in every press conference and said it had to be right for Olivier, for myself and for the club. He’s been impeccable in that period and I’ve got huge respect for him for that and as a player. Will he leave? No.
‘It’s my job with all the players to try and get the best out of them, with the way I want us to play and the things I need to see out of each position. Each player has to buy into what we’re trying to do because that’s important. It’s key across the board, not just with Oli.’
There was positive news regarding the fitness of another striker.
‘Tammy trained today and felt okay. We need to see if there’s a reaction because it’s a pain injury, there’s a lot of pain and even in training he has pain. I’m going to look at that one overnight and test him in the morning but he did get out there today, which is a positive in the longer-term.’
Frank also spoke of his respect for his opposite number in the dugout this weekend, the former Chelsea Academy coach and current Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers.
‘He worked over in the Academy and I kept in contact to a degree, not so much in recent years but whenever I see him we have good conversations. I have huge respect for him and how he’s worked his way from this Academy.
‘Our Academy produces not just players, it produces coaches. We can see that in the first team staff. He’s a great example of that.
‘He stuck out through his knowledge and his thirst for knowledge. He was already learning different languages. He wanted to see how he could open up his thought process. It was clear he had that on the training pitch as well.’
The Foxes suffered League Cup semi-final disappointment in midweek but Lampard warned that will count for little tomorrow lunchtime.
‘It can go either way. It can inspire, or it can stay in the mind for a bit. We can’t assume either. We have to worry about ourselves.’