Chelsea’s €40 million (£33m/$43m) deal for Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech does not mean that Willian and Pedro will be cast aside by the Blues this summer, says Frank Lampard.
The Stamford Bridge outfit are preparing to welcome added creativity onto their books in the form of a highly-rated Morocco international.
Ziyech has starred during his time in the Netherlands and is already being tipped to make a positive impression in English football.
There are, however, no guarantees that he will hit the ground running, with Chelsea having discovered with Christian Pulisic that the Premier League can take time to adjust to.
With that in mind, keeping experienced heads around would appear to be a good idea.
Lampard has suggested that he shares that mindset, with the Blues boss still hoping that at least one agreement can be reached when it comes to talks over expiring contracts with Willian and Pedro.
Pressed on whether a swoop for Ziyech means that pair are now surplus to requirements in the long run, Lampard said: “No it doesn’t.
“Conversations are ongoing with those players. They have both been successful players with the club.”
While looking to retain the services of those currently on his books, Lampard is excited by the potential in a big-money agreement for Ziyech.
Had had been hoping to get the 26-year-old on board during the winter window, but is prepared to wait until the summer.
Lampard added: “We tried and it was not possible. We all know how the January window works.
"You respect that clubs with top players want to keep them and that was the case. But that is done and we have him for next season. Pleased with that.
“I think he’s a fantastic player. He first came into my eye-line in their run in the Champions League last year. I thought he was one of their standout players, particularly in their games against Tottenham.
“We’ve come up against them twice this season so I know a lot about him. I know about his qualities.
“He’s got a great left foot and plays generally off the right-hand side but can play behind the front man. Probably when you look at us this season there have been games where we may have maybe struggled to unlock the door.
“He’s certainly a player we hope can bring that bit of creativity and something different for us. He scores goals, assists.
“I know he's not coming now but I think it’s exciting for us as a club and the fans to know that he’ll be here next year.”
It has been suggested that Ziyech could be the first of many fresh faces at Chelsea, with Lampard said to have a healthy budget at his disposal, but the ex-England international is giving little away when it comes to his recruitment plans.
He added: “We have to worry first about where we are at and trying to come in the top four is the massive priority for us.
“My main concern is that. We are always on the lookout and working together to try and see how we can improve.
“I think those improvements are needed in the summer but we have to make sure we get the right ones.”