Chelsea free to sign players in January as transfer ban is reduced

Chelsea are free to sign players in January after their transfer ban was reduced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Premier League club was unable to strengthen its squad in the summer after FIFA ruled they had breached regulations relating to the recruitment of young players.

Chelsea appealed to CAS, who have now halved the two-window ban, meaning manager Frank Lampard will now have the option of utilising the clubs transfer funds come January.

The Blues have made a solid start to life under the stewardship of the club’s all-time record goalscorer and are currently fourth in the Premier League following Wednesday’s win over West Ham, while they are well placed to qualify for the knockout phase of the Champions League.

Lampard has re-energised the club following the departure of Maurizio Sarri by placing is faith in a crop of emerging academy graduates including the likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James.

Despite the progress that has undoubtedly been made, Lampard will likely relish the opportunity to spend next month with Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell, Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha understood to be among his primary targets.

Zaha was coveted by both Arsenal and Everton during the summer, but remained with the Eagles despite handing in a formal transfer request but leading agent Federico Pastorello earlier this week  sparked speculation the former Manchester United star could be on the move come January.

‘Another player I also think about is Wilfried Zaha. I think he really deserves a new challenge and a top club, because he is really a top player,’ said the Italian agent.

‘It is surprising me because I read about a possible move in the summer but he stayed again. But this season he is proving that he is very focused and concentrated. So think he could be another good opportunity in the January market.

‘The January market can be really calm. As the number of transfers there is about one third as many than in the summer. But there are some very good and interesting opportunities for the clubs that sell, because maybe a club really needs that player and is ready to pay a little bit more because of emergency.’

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