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According to reports, Chelsea have slapped a £23m asking price for Italian defender Davide Zappacosta this summer. The Blues intend to clear their wage bill by signing a number of players, with Zappacosta high up on that list.

As per the reports, Chelsea are demanding £23m for the 27-year-old’s services. Frank Lampard is apparently keen on using youngster Reece James as deputy for right-back Cesar Azpilicueta.

However, AS Roma, who are chasing Zappacosta, are struggling to match the defender’s asking price. However, they could still explore a loan-to-buy option for the Italian before the window slams shut.

Paulo Fonseca is rebuilding the squad after a disappointing sixth-place finish under Claudio Ranieri and Eusebio De Francesco. However, signing a defensive midfielder remains a priority for the Serie A club following Steven N’Zonzi’s departure to Galatasaray.

Meanwhile, Lampard is set to axe Tiemoue Bakayoko after the Frenchman failed to impress him in the preseason. Michy Batshuyayi and Kenedy are set to stay after impressing the boss in the preseason.

Chelsea will look to win their first league game of the season as they host Leicester City

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