Frank Lampard has denied that it would be risky for Chelsea not to replace Olivier Giroud if the striker is allowed to complete his transfer to Internazionale.
Although Lampard wants to improve his attacking options, many of Chelsea’s main targets appear to be out of reach. Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and Red Bull Leipzig’s Timo Werner are unlikely to be available until the summer and Lyon’s chairman, Jean-Michel Aulas, this week publicly ruled out selling Moussa Dembélé.
Giroud has agreed personal terms with Inter, who are yet to meet Chelsea’s £8.5m asking price, but selling him would leave Lampard with Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi as his only senior forwards. Whereas Abraham has impressed this season, Batshuayi is yet to make a Premier League start.
Yet Lampard does not feel it would be a gamble to sell Giroud. “There are a lot of things in football and the squad that are a risk, otherwise you would line up with three or four of the best players in each position,” Chelsea’s manager said. “We have some adaptable players who could take up different roles so that would have to come into my thinking at that point.
“I have to make those decisions as I go along. I also have to think about the makeup of the squad, the spirit of the squad and I also have a human level where I look at people: how they are, how they train and how the squad could be affected in lots of different ways.
“Oli has been great and I respect him for that and that slightly comes into my thinking as well. The club will always come first. If I feel the decision is to keep everybody in the January window that will be my decision too. Nothing is done yet.”
It is not certain that Giroud will join Inter, who hope to pay £3.4m for a player whose contract runs out in the summer. Chelsea are driving a hard bargain with the Italian club, who are coached by their former manager Antonio Conte.
Lampard hinted that Pedro could yet be of importance this season, especially with Christian Pulisic out for a fortnight after suffering an adductor injury. Pedro’s contract is up at the end of the season but the Spanish winger could be involved when Burnley visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
“He is part of my plans,” Lampard said. “I know he wants more games, I get that. But he certainly has something that he can contribute here. I know his contract is up at the end of the season but I am not even looking that far ahead. I need everybody because football can change very quickly.”
Lampard added that Chelsea, who have inquired about a loan deal for Atlético Madrid’s Thomas Lemar, will not sell the Danish centre-back Andreas Christensen to Milan this month. “I like Andreas as a player,” he said. “When you see the height, the athleticism and the quality on the ball, particularly in choice of pass, then I think he can be all the things I want him to be. Sometimes if we are coming up against teams that are physical then Andreas has to stand up. But those little bits in his game can really make him the fantastic centre-half I think he can be.”