Frank Lampard has banned Chelsea players from talking about the club's transfer embargo in a bid to prevent a lowering of standards at Stamford Bridge. According to Sky Sports, Blues boss Lampard returned to West London last month knowing he would be unable to strengthen his squad until next summer because of sanctions imposed by world governing body FIFA.

Despite the recruitment restrictions, the 41-year-old believes his side can remain competitive after last season finishing third in the Premier League and winning the Europa League under his predecessor Maurizio Sarri.
Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports, Lampard said.

"I don't want - and I said this to the players the first time I spoke to them - I don't want talk of the ban, I don't want talk of what is success, what might be success, and any lowering of standards"

He expressed hope that Callum Hudson-Odoi will remain at Chelsea and stressing that talks are ongoing over a potential new contract for the 18-year-old

"I want to set out as we should do. And when I looked around the room I was looking at top players everywhere, and a big squad full of quality. Can we remain competitive when we are in this position? I believe we can.

"And we just have to accept that and use the challenge of what we've got and have absolute belief in what we've got because I think with the ban it's been very easy to write off this squad somewhat.

"What matters is how we approach it and if I was a Chelsea manager who said 'I'll settle for sixth place this season or fourth place, or even second place', that's not the mindset."