Former Chelsea star Graeme Le Saux believes it is Frank Lampard who is stalling on a new contract and not the Stamford Bridge club.
Reports in the media this season have claimed Blues owner Roman Abramovich is unwilling to offer Lampard an extension to his current deal, which expires in the summer.
Le Saux believes these reports are wide of the mark and feels Chelsea will have acted similarly with Lampard as they did with Ashley Cole.
Cole’s contract was also set to expire and there was speculation surrounding his future, but that was quashed last month when he agreed terms on a one-year extension.
“Chelsea have had quite a hard time in the press with everyone saying they are mad to let him go and should definitely offer him a new contract,” Le Saux told talkSPORT.
“I’m convinced, though, that Chelsea have sat down with Frank’s people, as they did with Ashley Cole, and offered him a new deal.”
Lampard has been showing the Chelsea hierarchy what they would be missing in recent matches, scoring in each of his last three appearances.
Le Saux cites this good form as to his reasoning behind the belief that the Blues would have offered the Stamford Bridge legend a new contract.
The England international, who scored the winning goal in a friendly victory over Brazil on Wednesday, is now 34 and Le Saux feels stalling over a new deal would be an understandable stance for a player of his age.
“Frank has a professional decision to make and that’s what we, in the media, and the fans forget,” added the former England full-back.
“He’s got two or three years left playing. Does he go further afield and earn vast amounts of money and secure his financial future?
“Or does he look at a longer-term plan and think ‘well, I will sacrifice some of the financial rewards to cement the final years of my career playing for a top class team’?
“That’s a decision he has to make. I know what I would do.”
Le Saux played for Chelsea for nine years in two separate spells at Stamford Bridge and is now a club ambassador.