Pundit blasts Chelsea decision to part ways with club legend

Gary Lineker has branded Chelsea’s sacking of the club icon Frank Lampard an ‘absolutely ludicrous’ decision.

The Englishman was let go on Monday following a disappointing run of results which has left the west Londoners languishing down in ninth in the Premier League standings.

The Blues announced the call less than 24 hours after last weekend’s 3-1 FA Cup fourth-round victory against Luton Town, which proved to be Frank’s last game in charge at Stamford Bridge.

He managed to guide his former club to a top-four finish in his first campaign, in spite of a two-window transfer ban.

But after a summer of spending totalling over £200m, Chelsea failed to make the step up to becoming title contenders this season.

A run of five defeats in their last eight Premier League games ultimately brought an end to Frank’s 18-month stint as Chelsea boss.

And former Tottenham and Leicester attacker Lineker feels the club didn’t give the 42-year-old tactician enough time.

‘Utterly ludicrous after his first bad run,’ Gary wrote on Twitter. ‘It was always going to need time given so many new signings feeling their way into a new club. Patience being a virtue is seldom recognised in this sport. They never learn.’

Elsewhere, in a recent report, ESPN has stated that Chelsea are keeping tabs on AS Monaco prodigy Aurelien Tchouameni.

He has enjoyed an impressive season at the Stade Louis II after producing a run of eye-catching displays at the centre of Niko Kovac’s midfield.

The Rouen-born ace has already featured in 19 matches for the French side this term, picking up two assists in the Ligue 1.

Chelsea set their sights on potential move for Monaco No.8 star

Chelsea are interested in landing AS Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, according to a recent report from ESPN.

A product of the Bordeaux youth academy, the 20-year-old Frenchman had shown great potential at the club before sealing the move to AS Monaco in January 2020.

Having not been involved a great deal in the second half of the last campaign, he has established himself as a mainstay in the middle of the park for Niko Kovac’s team.

Indeed, Aurelien has started all but one of Les Monegasques’ 19 Ligue 1 matches this season, missing the other only because of suspension.

Utilised as a defensive midfielder for the most part, he has been able to contribute with a couple of assists as well.

He has made a great impression thus far in 2020/21, and Tchouameni’s rise to prominence has put him on the radars of a host of clubs, including Chelsea, as per the report.

Declan Rice has been a long-term target for the club, but there is intense competition for the Englishman’s signing, with Liverpool being the latest side entering the race for the West Ham United star.

Furthermore, his hefty price-tag could also be a problem, even though Chelsea showed their financial clout last summer.

To that end, Aurelien could be a cheaper alternative for the London-based heavyweights to consider to strengthen their midfield unit.

Meanwhile, the club are going through a difficult phase at the moment, with a run of five losses in 10 top-flight games.

Former Dortmund winger could be subject of Chelsea offer

Chelsea are interested in Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele, reports from Spain say.

The Frenchman’s contract expires next summer, and he is understood to be considering his future.

According to Sport, Blaugrana are considering selling the forward, with neither the club nor the player interested in the contract negotiations.

Th Stamford Bridge outfit are named as one of the clubs watching the winger’s future, it was claimed.

But, they’ll only be convinced to make a swoop if a ‘reasonable price’ was set for the player.

The 23-year-old star has also been wanted by Chelsea’s Premier League rivals Liverpool and Manchester United in the past.

Dembele remained in Spain, though, with manager Ronald Koeman taking over at the Camp Nou last summer.

Ousmane has since made 19 appearances, netting six goals but his long-term future remains in doubt.

He joined the La Liga giants four years ago in a £110 million deal, acting as a replacement for Neymar, who joined PSG.

But the former Borussia Dortmund ace has failed to live up to expectations and has also been questioned regarding his conduct.

He is said to have upset the Blaugrana hierarchy in the past because of his diet, sleeping pattern, and turning up late for training sessions.

The star is also competing for a place in the team alongside Philippe Coutinho, Antoine Griezmann, Ansu Fati and Lionel Messi.

In other news, West Ham United have allegedly failed to seal a loan deal for Chelsea’s out-of-favour defender Emerson Palmieri.