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By NBF News
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COACH Carlo Ancelotti of Chelsea has revealed that he would try to sign a new defender if Alex failed to recover from knee surgery before the end of next month.

But he insists that he was not planning to do any further business during the January transfer window, despite seeing his squad fail to cope with injuries to key players in the last two months. Brazil international, Alex, was ruled out for up to eight weeks after going under the knife at the start of the month.

His knee problems coincided with an injury to captain John Terry, which forced Ancelotti to play Paulo Ferreira as a makeshift centre-half. The move backfired spectacularly when Chelsea slumped to its worst home defeat for eight years against Sunderland.

Ancelotti last year famously vowed to run around the club's training ground if he signed a player in January but he was not willing to make the same promise 12 months on. He said: 'If I have to bet, I can bet the opposite.

'Until the 31st of January, if we are sure that Alex will have resolved his problem, we won't need another defender. We have to wait to see his condition. We can think about things, a new defender, towards the end of January. That would be the only position.'

And that player could well be English, according to the Italian: 'Obviously, if you take an English player, you don't have a problem with the culture, the language. Maybe they have advantages for this reason,' he said.

Ancelotti insisted that it was pointless trying to sign a player to cover for the likes of Frank Lampard, who would make his first appearance for four months in yesterday night's crunch clash at Arsenal.

'In the market, there is no player capable of replacing Lampard,' Ancelotti, who has already dismissed reports linking him with Tottenham's playmaker Luka Modric, said.'

Chelsea has badly missed Lampard's goals in what has been its worst run in the league for over a decade but Ancelotti defended the contributions of the 32-year-old's fellow midfielders John Obi Mikel, Ramires and Michael Essien, and forwards Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda.