PREMIER LEAGUE

Kepa speculation is nonsense, says Chelsea boss Lampard

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard says he has read a lot of rubbish in the press this week relating to goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga's future.

Kepa speculation is nonsense - Lampard

Frank Lampard has described the speculation surrounding Kepa Arrizabalaga as utter nonsense but did hint that Chelsea would assess the Spain international's future in the summer.

Kepa loses place to Willy

Kepa remains the most expensive goalkeeper in world football following his 80 million euro switch from Athletic Club in 2018 but has been relegated to the bench for the past four games, with veteran Willy Caballero the preferred choice. Reports in the British media on Friday suggested the player would request to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season amid rumours of a fall-out with Lampard.

But the Chelsea boss insisted the player's future was very much in his own hands and praised his reaction to being left out. Speaking ahead of Saturday's trip to Bournemouth, Lampard told a news conference: "My relationship is fine, between player and manager. I have 20 or so players to keep happy and I can't keep them all happy at the same time. All I expect is professionalism in training, which Kepa has given. The position is the same: you train well to try to get in the team when you're not in it. When you play, you try to play at performance levels that keep you in the team. They are the standards we have to have at this club. Every player is in control of their own destiny to a degree with that and how they turn up every day, and Kepa has been training well. But Willy is also training well and has also been playing pretty well - he made some good saves against Bayern [Munich on Tuesday]. So, I have competition there and I will decide as we go. I am very strong on how you turn up every day is pivotal in how you are as a Chelsea player."

Reports about Kepa were wide of the mark, says Lampard

As for the reports claiming the 25-year-old wanted out, Lampard added: "I've read quite a bit of nonsense this week with people guessing. Every time a player puts on a shirt, they are in control of their destiny, individually. We can't always control collectively what a result will be. All I'm focused on is what we do game by game to try to get the best finish possible. And then there are decisions for the club ongoing in the summer. We have to look at that but there's no way I'm jumping into the future now, and as I said, a lot of the reports were wrong."