Frank Lampard reportedly demanded that Chelsea sign Arsenal star Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang – while his insistence on targeting Declan Rice ‘annoyed’ the club’s hierarchy.
That’s according to a report which also claimed Ben Chilwell was the only one of Chelsea’s summer signings actually targeted by the manager, who was sacked on Monday.
Lampard was axed after 18 months in charge, with the club having plummeted to ninth place in the Premier League following a dismal run of results.
That was despite a record-breaking summer spending spree of more than £200million on players including Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell and Edouard Mendy.
Chelsea will hope that incoming boss Thomas Tuchel can get the best out of Werner and Havertz, who cost around £120m combined but have so far struggled to adapt to English football.
And it has been claimed that Lampard didn’t target either player in the first place.
The 42-year-old saw Aubameyang as the player he needed to strengthen Chelsea’s attack, according to The Athletic.
The publication claims Lampard wanted Aubameyang 12 months ago, when the forward was locked in a contract stand-off with Arsenal.
But Chelsea’s hierarchy had already set their sights on Werner, with the club eventually signing the striker from RB Leipzig for £47.5m in June last year.
The Athletic also claimed club bosses refused to sanction a move for Burnley centre-back James Tarkowski, who Lampard wanted to strengthen the defence.
Another player Lampard wanted was West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, who he saw as the ideal player to protect Chelsea’s defence.
The report claims Chelsea bosses were frustrated by Lampard’s insistence on targeting a player who had been released by the club when he was 14.
It is also claimed that left-back Ben Chilwell, who joined from Leicester for £50m, was the only player Lampard wanted who the club actually signed.
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