Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo insists Frank Lampard still has a future at the club after concerns were raised that the veteran midfielder is gradually being phased out of the team.

Lampard was not required by Di Matteo during the weekend victory against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, while he played only nine minutes in the previous Premier League encounter with Stoke.

The 34-year-old's Chelsea contract expires at the end of the season, and Lampard could reportedly leave Stamford Bridge for the MLS with LA Galaxy pursuing his signature.

Di Matteo, though, says Lampard remains an integral part of his Chelsea plans, even if the England international is not playing as regularly as he would like.

"His future is very strong at this club. He's a very important player for us," Di Matteo told a press conference ahead of Chelsea's meeting with FC Nordsjaelland in the Champions League.

"I've had conversations with him, yeah, which I do on a regular basis with the players. I like to exchange opinions.

"He's very supportive of the team when he's not in the team. When he's in the team, he's a great performer as well."

Lampard is likely to play some part against FC Nordsjaelland on Tuesday evening as the European champions look to get their campaign back on track, having surrendered a two-goal lead in their opener with Juventus.

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