Chelsea are ready to act on their interest in Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha in the upcoming January transfer window, with Frank Lampard keen to add reinforcements in attacking areas.
The Blues' transfer ban was lifted after their appeal was accepted, meaning the west London outfit are free to sign players when the winter window opens on 1 January.
Following Chelsea sealing their place in the Champions League knockout stages on Tuesday with victory over Lille, Lampard hinted that he may seek to add firepower to his squad, having never fully replaced Eden Hazard following his move to Real Madrid.
After the 2-1 win, Lampard said: “It is quite clear in the summer we lost Eden Hazard who has been a huge part of scoring and creating for us in the last few seasons. We need more competition in those creative areas."
Christian Pulisic has impressed since coming into the side this season, but rumours surrounding Zaha moving to Stamford Bridge have lingered. The Guardian have since gone one better now, claiming that Chelsea are ready to 'step up' their interest in the Ivorian, alongside AFC Bournemouth's Nathan Ake.
With a reported £150m budget to play with, a move for Zaha is seemingly affordable, with Palace unwilling to budge on the £80m price tag that saw moves to Everton and Arsenal fail to materialise over the summer. It would see a significant chunk of their finances parted with, however, especially as former player Ake would command a fee of £40m, due to a buy-back clause the Blues inserted into his Cherries deal.
It is added in the report that Chelsea will hope to use Olivier Giroud as a potential makeweight in any deal, with the Frenchman eager to leave the club in the coming window in order to seek regular playing time ahead of Euro 2020.
Nevertheless, Zaha is under contract until 2023 and the Eagles will likely fight to the wire to secure their star man, whose form has picked up following an indifferent start to the Premier League season. Should he leave, however, Palace are keen on Burnley's Dwight McNeil.
This pair aren't the only names on the club's wishlist. Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, CSKA Moscow’s Fyodor Chalov, Lyon’s Moussa Dembélé and Red Bull Leipzig’s Timo Werner are also mentioned by the Guardian, although the quartet would be significantly harder to lure mid-season.