Chelsea are free to sign players in January after their appeal against a transfer ban imposed by FIFA was reduced by half by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

CAS says they have reduced the ban as they found Chelsea guilty of breaching two of its regulations on player transfers, specifically regarding bringing in U18s and ‘third-party influence’ but “for a significantly smaller number of players (about 1/3 of the violations found by FIFA)”.

Chelsea served the first window of their ban in the summer but made a further appeal at the CAS last month, who accepted submissions about the case from the club as well as FIFA.

Despite the transfer ban, Mateo Kovacic joined the club from Real Madrid for £40m because of a loophole in FIFA’s regulations which allowed the transfer as Chelsea already held his registration after his season-long loan from the previous season.

Despite also losing star player Eden Hazard in the summer, Chelsea started the season well under new head coach Frank Lampard, who has used the punishment to help bring through young players.

They sit in fourth in the Premier League table after 15 games and will be boosted by their ability to strengthen their squad in January.

Chelsea’s fine has also been halved from £460,000 to £230,000.