For the second transfer window in a row, Derby County are trying to convince Chelsea to part with Ethan Ampadu.
Frank Lampard was hoping to tempt his former club into loaning the 18-year-old to the Rams during the summer transfer window but, according to Derbyshire Live, Maurizio Sarri said no as he believed that Ampadu could force his way into Chelsea’s starting XI.
Since then, however, the former Exeter City youngster has not been included in a single Premier League squad, despite establishing himself in the heart of the midfield for the Welsh national team just weeks after his 18th birthday.
Chelsea should seriously consider allowing Ampadu to leave in January in order to prove himself at senior level. And, according to the Birmingham Mail, Derby are hoping to sign the versatile youngster at the second time of asking with Championship rivals Aston Villa also interested.
In quotes reported by Derbyshire Live, Derby manager Frank Lampard has already expressed a fondness for Ampadu in the aftermath of Wales’ 4-1 Nations League thrashing of the Republic of Ireland in September.
“He is a fantastic talent. I shed a tear when he played so well (against Ireland)," Lampard said.
"I know him, and similar to Mason Mount, he is a young player with real ability and a fantastic attitude."
Derby surely have an advantage over Villa due to the Lampard connection, with fellow Chelsea starlets Mount and Fikayo Tomori already thriving at Pride Park.
Should Ampadu move to the East Midlands, he would also link up with his Wales teammates Harry Wilson and Tom Lawrence.