Chelsea join race to sign Jadon Sancho but much depends on transfer ban - reports
Premier League club expect decision from CAS 'very soon' and the Dortmund winger is reportedly a top target
Chelsea have joined the race to sign winger Jadon Sancho in January, according to media reports, as the England international attempts to leave Borussia Dortmund during the winter transfer window.
Chelsea are currently serving a two-window transfer ban which restricts the club from signing any new players until next summer. However, an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) could see the ban lifted in time for next month's transfer window, with manager Frank Lampard revealing on Tuesday that a decision is expected "very soon".
Should Chelsea be free to sign players in January, football website goal.com has claimed that the Europa League winners have made Sancho their primary target and are prepared to break their transfer record to sign the Borussia Dortmund player.
Sancho is reportedly ready to leave the Bundesliga club for a return to English football and while the 19-year-old winger's importance to Dortmund remains high, relations between player and club have become strained over a series of disciplinary issues.
Sancho was substituted after just 36 minutes of Dortmund's thrashing by Bayern Munich last month and was last week dropped from the starting XI for the Champions League game against Barcelona for arriving late to a team meeting.
While Dortmund would reportedly prefer to keep Sancho until the end of the season, it is claimed the club would listen to offers during January. While no figures have been mentioned, it is thought Dortmund would be looking for more than the €105 million (Dh428m) they received from Barcelona for Ousmane Dembele in 2017.
Chelsea will likely face competition from Manchester United for Sancho's signature, although the Blues do have a number of advantages over their rivals.
Frank Lampard's side are well on course for a top-four finish in the Premier League and with it Champions League football next season, while United are eight points off the pace.
Additionally, Sancho is from London and is close friends with Chelsea players Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi, while Chelsea are sure to stress his long-term importance to the club with senior wingers Willian and Pedro nearing the end of their contracts.
Financially, Chelsea will be able to match United in terms of transfer fee, with the €100m they received for the summer sale of Eden Hazard still unspent due to the ongoing transfer ban.
However, it is that ban that could dictate Chelsea's chances of signing Sancho in January. If CAS reject the appeal, United may be given a clear run at the winger while Chelsea would hope any deal could be delayed until the summer.
Sancho joined Dortmund in 2017 from Manchester City and quickly established himself as a key member of the team, scoring 18 goals and assisting 28 more in 57 Bundesliga games. He has also broken into the England set up and has made 11 appearances for his national side.
Updated: December 5, 2019 11:59 AM