Cardiff v Chelsea: Frank Lampard could miss Chelsea swansong as midfielder laid up in bed with illness

Jose Mourinho reveals Lampard is unlikely to be in a fit state to 'travel of play' Sunday's fixture the last before his contract expires

Frank Lampard may have already played his final match for Chelsea after Jose Mourinho revealed the midfielder is a major doubt for Sunday's Barclays Premier League finale at Cardiff.

Lampard, who is 36 in June, is out of contract at the end of the campaign alongside captain John Terry and Ashley Cole, a trio who have been mainstays at Chelsea for eight years and more.

"Frank Lampard is ill, he is in bed," Mourinho said.

FOLLOW ALL TODAY'S PREMIER LEAGUE ACTION WITH OUR LIVE BLOG HERE

"If he is in bed on Friday, I don't think on Saturday he is coming in a condition to travel or to play."

Lampard is Chelsea's record goalscorer, with 209 goals in 646 appearances since his 2001 move from West Ham.

Asked to reflect on Lampard's distinguished career at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho added: "Maybe in a few years he will have a statue where Peter Osgood is, by his side. He's one of the biggest players (in the history) of this club."

Terry is also doubtful - with "a little thing" picked up on Thursday - but has begun negotiations over a possible new contract and his form this season suggests the Blues would like to keep the captain.

 

England left-back Cole appears on the verge of an exit after being a peripheral figure this term.

Mourinho, who will provide a report to the Chelsea hierarchy at the end of the campaign, was unable to provide an update on the futures of the trio.

Asked if their Chelsea careers would end at the season's conclusion, Mourinho said: "I don't know. But I don't think so. The club knows my opinion. The players know my opinion too."

Despite finishing the season without silverware - Chelsea's first trophyless campaign since 2010-11 - Mourinho reflected on a "positive" return.

Other managers have paid with their jobs in similar circumstances under notoriously hard-to-please owner Roman Abramovich, but the Portuguese is likely to remain after guiding Chelsea back into title contention for much of the campaign, after the Blues finished 25 points off the pace in 2012 and 14 adrift last term.

"By the competitive aspect I think it was an evolution," Mourinho said.

"Some of the players had for the first time that experience of fighting for the title, until it was not possible, and fighting for the Champions League, playing Champions League knockout phase, quarter-finals, semi-finals.

"This is not the kind of season that Chelsea celebrates, because this is Chelsea's nature and my nature.

"We are not jumping because in such a difficult Premier League we finished third and qualified to the Champions League group phase without play-offs.

"In this moment we are thinking about next season. We are turning our focus not to the World Cup but to preparations for next season."

Mourinho has often spoken of transition since returning to Stamford Bridge and he will have decisions to make this summer.

As well as the futures of Terry, Lampard and Cole, Chelsea and Mourinho have other things to ponder.

What to do with his goalkeepers, Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois, who has excelled on loan at Atletico Madrid?

What to do with Romelu Lukaku, who has scored 15 times on loan at Everton?

Mourinho has often spoken of the travails of his strikers - Samuel Eto'o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba - and his desire to recruit a prolific goalscorer, with Atletico's Diego Costa widely linked.

Eto'o, who has scored 12 goals this term, all at home, is out of contract at the end of the season and may also have played his final game for Chelsea as he suffered an injury in training on Friday after a recent knee problem.

Mourinho and Chelsea have been working on the recruitment of a striker for some time.

"We were preparing the long-term future and not just an immediate solution to try to help us for the rest of the season," Mourinho said.

"In the same way we bought two players in January and they were not eligible to play in the Champions League (Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah) and we said 'no problem' because we are preparing the team for the long term and not just for the immediate.

"It is normal that we are going to bring a striker (in) now. It's normal. It's normal that we want to improve.

"We have good strikers, we have good players, we are not in a desperate situation.

"But it's the normal evolution of the team. Every team wants to get the summer transfer window to improve and one area we want to improve - and we've made it very clear since December, January - that it's the striker position.

"We have three strikers in this moment. Normally one is coming, normally one is leaving. Calm, natural and logical."

PA

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee