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Lampard hints at Zappacosta exit but AS Roma unable to meet €25m asking price — report

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Loan with an option to buy seems like the most pragmatic choice

Chelsea FC v AS Roma - UEFA Champions League Photo by Ashley Western - CameraSport via Getty Images

Davide Zappacosta looks increasingly likely to depart Chelsea before the European transfer window slams shut on September 2. Frank Lampard confirmed as much without confirming anything in his press conference on Friday, even.

"I have been really impressed with Zappacosta’s training, attitude and how he has been. He is a very good player. We have to make sure that we are happy with our squad when the European windows shut completely. That will be a decision for us and, of course Zappa. I want players happy. The professionalism that he has shown here has been great. That’s an ongoing conversation, but he is our player."

-Frank Lampard

-source: Football.London

Another conversation that’s ongoing is rumored to be with AS Roma, though as things stand, they are unable to meet Chelsea’s asking price for the 27-year-old wing-back. Chelsea are apparently hoping to make back the entire €25m purchase price.

Roma’s recent tribulations with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules mean that they have to be prudent, maybe even a little shrewd in the calciomercato. Even though their net spend currently stands at a little north of €5m, they are looking towards the safer route of getting players on loan with options to buy them in the future (this is the reason why a move for Dejan Lovren fell through).

Roma’s primary focus seems to be fixated on getting a defensive midfielder after the departure of Steven Nzonzi to Galatasaray, but getting Zappacosta on loan (with an option with buy) could be an attractive proposition for them, as well as for us. Going by Lampard’s latest quotes, it seems unlikely that the player has an immediate future at Chelsea, so the club needs to take the steps necessary to facilitate a smooth exit and unlock the impasse — especially as Reece James is on track to return in the next 2-3 weeks as well. Keeping Zappacosta at the club with just two years left on his contract but without any meaningful minutes would only serve to lower his market value.

One thing’s for certain though: if Roma aren’t willing to pay €20m for Elseid Hysaj, €25m for Zappacosta in the next fortnight is wishful thinking at best.