Frank Lampard urges club to settle 'deserved' new deal with Didier Drogba
Monday 07 May 2012
Frank Lampard has told Chelsea that Didier Drogba is irreplaceable and has urged the club to agree terms with the striker over a new contract. Drogba's eighth goal in as many games at Wembley helped his side beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final on Saturday.
The 34-year-old, whose deal runs out in the summer, is the first player to score in four FA Cup finals, having also struck in Chelsea's triumphs in 2007, 2009 and 2010. So far the club have offered Drogba a one-year extension – he wants a two-year deal.
The chief executive, Ron Gourlay, has revealed that more talks are planned after the Champions League final against Bayern Munich on 19 May, but Lampard said: "I am desperate for Didier to stay. He is a magnificent player. He has lost no pace, none of his finishing instinct, but as a man I love Didier and whatever he decides to do, stays here or whatever, he has been a hero for this club and he will go down in memory as a legend.
"The amount of important goals he has got for us in Cup finals and important games throughout his career makes him an icon, a historical figure at Chelsea, without a doubt."
Chelsea have made signing another striker one of their priorities for the summer, with Gonzalo Higuain, Edinson Cavani, Hulk and Radamel Falcao on their wish list.
Asked if Drogba would be an impossible act to follow, Lampard said: "Of course it would be because there is no one like Didier as a player, not with the bulldozer thing he's got, with the sublime finish and touch he has got. Clubs always move on and eventually all of us will move on at some stage and you have to find a different way of playing. But for what he's done at this club he deserves everything. He's unique. He is not just that big man, he scores when it matters and that's just priceless."
Chelsea's captain, John Terry, said: "Throughout the world when people look at Chelsea, they look at Didier, Lampard and these kind of players. They are Chelsea and Didier loves the club. We obviously have a massive Champions League final in two weeks but, hopefully, after that something can be thrashed out and he stays."
Terry and Branislav Ivanovic will be suspended against Bayern, but the other two centre-halves, Gary Cahill and David Luiz, who have been out with hamstring injuries, are hoping to step up training this week.
Cahill said: "I had a scan on Friday, it was my second one and things have improved. I'm hoping to try and get a training session in at the end of this week. Fingers crossed."
The Liverpool captain, Steven Gerrard, said Andy Carroll's showing at Wembley, in which he scored and nearly provided an equaliser, could not be ignored: "Credit to Andy, who came on and played brilliantly well. His form the last two or three months has been fantastic and he is pushing for a place back in the England squad."
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