Frank Lampard may have confirmed Chelsea transfer stance with starting line-up vs Brighton

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard appears to have confirmed the club’s stance on selling Jorginho in their Premier League opener against Brighton. The Italy international was subject to strong speculation linking him with a move to Juventus earlier this summer.

Jorginho had fallen out of favour during the Premier League restart, only being recalled when N’Golo Kante went down injured.

Reports suggested Jorginho was keen on a return to Italy with Maurizio Sarri at Juventus.

Those rumours cooled somewhat after the Italian champions decided to sack the former Chelsea boss following their Champions League exit.

But there were still some question marks about Jorginho’s future at the club with his agent, Joao Santos, confirming earlier this month that he would work on an exit plan for his client if it became clear the midfielder was no part of Lampard’s plans.

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“Jorginho has a three-year deal with Chelsea. The market is long, it will last until October 5,” he said.

“If Chelsea were to think that he is no longer part of the project, I would find an alternative solution.

“Last year he played 40 games for Chelsea and is an important member of the national team.

“So far we haven’t received any official offers. He is followed by many clubs and there aren’t many players with his characteristics in that role.”

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Lampard named Jorginho as the club’s vice-captain midway through last season.

The transfer speculation surrounding his future though led to some belief that he may have been stripped of that role.

It’s also been suggested that Jorginho may need to be sold if Chelsea hold any plans on trying to sign Declan Rice in the next three weeks.

But Lampard has given his biggest hint yet that he plans to have Jorginho at the club by giving him the captain’s armband for their opening game of the new season against Brighton.

Club captain Cesar Azpilicueta was named on the bench, meaning Jorginho was named captain.

Lampard chose to start Jorginho alongside N’Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in midfield with Kai Havertz pushed further forward to play out wide.

That could suggest that Chelsea may not feel confident about striking a deal to sign Rice in the final few weeks of the window.

It remains to be seen how Lampard will line up when he has players such as Matteo Kovacic, Thiago Silva, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic available to him.

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