Chelsea have decided they’ll continue to prioritise Kai Havertz over a centre-back signing despite their 3-2 defeat to West Ham, reports say. The Blues slipped to a disappointing defeat at the London Stadium. And Frank Lampard’s side are now facing a big battle to secure Champions League qualification next term.

Chelsea were poor as they lost against West Ham, with the Hammers running out deserved winners at the London Stadium.

Tomas Soucek put the hosts in front at the end of the first half, with Kepa Arrizabalaga failing to command his area at a corner.

Chelsea levelled through Willian, with Michail Antonio then restoring West Ham’s lead in the 51st minute.

The Blues looked to have claimed a point when Willian scored again, with the Brazil international finding the net with a stunning free-kick.

Yet West Ham snatched victory right at the death through Andriy Yarmolenko, who capitalised on some dire Chelsea defending before unleashing a powerful strike past Kepa in the Chelsea goal.

It was a chastening night for the Blues, who know they now face an almighty fight to secure Champions League football next term.

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Yet Goal say Chelsea will continue to prioritise Bayer Leverkusen star Havertz over a centre-back in the wake of the defeat.

The Germany international is a top Lampard transfer target having flourished in the Bundesliga, scoring 12 goals and registering six assists.

And the Blues are hoping to beat the likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich to his signing when the window reopens.

While Chelsea aren’t going after a centre-back at the current time, they are determined to recruit at left-back instead.

Marcos Alonso was abysmal against West Ham and Lampard is determined to land Leicester’s Ben Chilwell come the end of the campaign.

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But who Chelsea end up with remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, ESPN pundit Steve Nicol laid into Chelsea duo Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen after the West Ham defeat.

Nicol said: “What you do against a guy like him is you use your football brain.

“What we saw today is that Rudiger and Christensen do not have a football brain. They did everything they could to make it easy for him.

“They gave him space to get the ball short, they didn’t get tight enough when they had to to stop balls over the top and then they got too tight in the times when they shouldn’t be.

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“A big, physical guy like him, he wants you to be really tight so he knows where you are. You’ve got to use your brain.

“As good as Frank has been so far, along with Jody Morris, going forward, I think you saw a weakness in them today.

“This is really easily sorted, all you have to do is one of two things.

“You have to make sure that Kante sits in front of Antonio and screens him, and if he’s not there then one of the centre-backs screens them and the other goes behind.

“That means the only ball that’s beating you is a big long ball way over the back, and you should be able to deal with that. I think that’s down to the coaches because they never saw it and never changed it.”

source: express.co.uk

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