• By Paul Lagan

Lampard: We are in talks with Willian and Kante is close to fitness

Frank Lampard confirmed that Chelsea are in talks about extending Brazilian winger Willian's contract.

The head coach said: "I know the club are talking to Willian. He's a player I want in my squad. We’ve made good moves in pre-season.

"Mason Mount and (Ruben) Loftus-Cheek have signed new contracts, that’s two good young players nailed down. We’re always trying to do that.

"From a football sense, I make my ideas clear and work very closely with Marina (director Granovskaia) and the board and Willian's a player we want to stay for sure."

Lamaprd is monitoring N'Golo Kante recovery from injury and reckons he close to a return to first team action.

"I am hopeful he will be ready (for the season opener at Manchester United) .

"He’s dipped into training with us in the last couple of days. There’s still a lot more he needs to do physically without us, that he can do without contact, which has been good. But the signs are good in the last three days since we’ve been back. It was certainly the right decision for him to come back and get the treatment he had. I would expect him to be training through the week with us to the point where at the start of next week he is fully training.

"I’ll have to assess next week whether we throw him straight in. He has a natural base of fitness but there’s 50 or 60-odd games to come this season. I’ll have to make the right call on that because the players have been working very hard. If he is back at the start of next week it’s for me and the staff to assess.

"He is a top class player so however much we want him in we have to be slightly careful to make sure he’s as fit as he can be."

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