Frank Lampard coy over Chelsea future
Monday 23 July 2012
Frank Lampard today refused to rule out this being his final season at Chelsea.
Lampard, who joined the Blues in 2001, is entering the last year of his contract and has been heavily linked with a move to Los Angeles Galaxy.
The 34-year-old England midfielder has previously expressed his desire to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge but suggested today he had yet to open talks with the club over his future.
After captaining Chelsea in their pre-season friendly against Paris St Germain in the early hours of this morning, the first football match ever at the new Yankee Stadium, Lampard was asked about a potential move to Major League Soccer.
"I'm not sure," said the man who captained the Blues to Champions League glory in May.
"I have another year on my contract at Chelsea.
"We have a big season. We play in the Super Cup and the World Club Championship in December.
"Then it's up to Chelsea. If they want to speak with me about my future, then I'll speak with them.
"I wouldn't rule anything out at the moment."
Pressed on whether he was on his way to America, Lampard replied: "Not at the moment, no, because I have a contract with Chelsea.
"Beyond that, I don't know."
Lampard is already ensured legendary status at Chelsea thanks to the goals he has scored and the trophies he has lifted while at the club.
The same could be said of captain John Terry, despite the defender's numerous off-field travails.
Today saw Terry make his first appearance in a Chelsea shirt since he was acquitted by a court of racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand, the 31-year-old coming on as a second-half substitute in a 1-1 draw.
Terry, who could yet face Football Association charges over the allegation, was given a hero's welcome as he entered the field.
"It felt very good," he said after the game, giving a thumbs-up before walking away from the media.
Lampard said: "John will always be a hero for Chelsea fans. Quite rightly so, the way he's done on the pitch."
Manager Roberto Di Matteo added: "He's come through the ranks of our club and he's an icon. He's just happy he can move on and play football again."
Chelsea have already spent big this summer to sign long-term successors to Terry and Lampard and have been linked with a host of other players.
Brazil star Oscar appears to set to join them after the Olympics, having confirmed he underwent a medical with the Londoners.
The president of his current club Internacional, Giovanni Luigi, has now told Radio Guiaba: "There is a verbal agreement between the two parties.
"But we have to put that on paper and the lawyer of both clubs have to discuss the matter."
Eden Hazard's brother Thorgan is also said to be close to a switch from Lens.
The European champions have also been linked with Hulk, Edinson Cavani and Cesar Azpilicueta, and are said to have had bids snubbed for Willian, Andre Schurrle and Robert Lewandowski.
Shakhtar Donetsk star Willian has expressed his frustration at being denied a move to Stamford Bridge, while Bayer Leverkusen forward Schurrle said of the prospect of joining the Blues: "Chelsea would have been very interesting for me. You don't get a chance like that very often in your life."
Schurrle, who only joined Leverkusen a year ago from Mainz, claimed he could understand his club rejecting the bid, telling Kicker magazine: "(Director of sport) Rudi Voller has explained the reasoning to me several times.
"They could not find a suitable replacement and I am too important to Bayer."
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