When Chelsea’s transfer ban was upheld following an appeal in May, many were quick to write the side off. Six months on, the west London outfit continue to prove the doubters wrong.

Aside from a few sloppy results, Frank Lampard’s young side have impressed at the very highest level. Few would have expected the team to finish the year in the Premier League’s top four, but following an exciting start to the campaign the Blues sit comfortably in fourth place, four points above Manchester United.

Early defeats against Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United saw Chelsea’s big game credentials called into question, but recent wins against Tottenham and Arsenal appear to have silenced the critics.

Last week, Chelsea fans were delighted to find out that the club’s transfer ban has been halved, paving the way for a vintage Roman Abramovich spending spree in January. As Lampard looks to cement his team’s position in next season’s Champions League, we check out Chelsea’s prime transfer targets.

Ben Chilwell

A succession of eye-catching performances have earned Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell a starting place in the English national team. Emerson Palmieri’s calamitous display against Arsenal, meanwhile, likely intensified Lampard’s desire to bring the highly rated English left-back to Stamford Bridge.

At just 23 years of age, Chilwell is unlikely to come cheap – and with Manchester City also in the market for a left back, Chelsea’s prospects of acquiring his services are far from guaranteed. However, with Chilwell priced at 6/4 to join Chelsea in January, the club are overwhelming favourites to sign Leicester’s in-demand full back.

Nathan Ake

Elsewhere in defence, Bournemouth centre-back Nathan Ake has been linked with a return to his previous club Chelsea. With the ability to play at both central defence and left-back, Ake is a highly attractive option for a Chelsea team needing reinforcements in both positions. Priced at a short 6/4, the markets clearly view Chelsea as the Dutchman’s preferred destination.

Timo Werner

In-form German striker Timo Werner is priced at 4/1 to join Chelsea. It’s easy to see why the club want him on board, as the player’s scoring record makes for extremely impressive reading. The RB Leipzig star has bagged 23 goals in 25 appearances this season, as well as providing seven assists for his teammates, and given Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi’s struggles at Stamford Bridge, he could prove a very attractive option for the Blues.

Jadon Sancho

Highly praised youngster Jadon Sancho is widely viewed as the perfect fit for Chelsea’s increasingly young, dynamic and home-grown team. He won’t come cheap, though, and Borussia Dortmund will reportedly demand upwards of £100 million for the 19-year-old.

At 6/5, the markets do not view Sancho’s high price as a barrier to the move. Will the England international choose Chelsea over his other suitors, with the likes of Manchester City and Real Madrid also linked with a move? We’ll see about that. Would his arrival secure their Champions League place? We’ll see about that, too.

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