Football

Chelsea chief confirms Frank Lampard contract talks 'ongoing'

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Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay has confirmed publicly for the first time that the club are in talks over extending the contract of veteran midfielder Frank Lampard, reports the Daily Mirror.

The 34-year-old has entered the final six months of his deal at Stamford Bridge, and with no fresh negotiations having taken place, it had been expected that the Blues legend would leave west London on a free transfer in the summer.

Lampard currently boasts 199 goals during his 12-year affiliation with Chelsea - three shy of Bobby Tambling's club record - and remains a key part of Rafa Benitez's first-team squad. 

With 11 goals in his last 19 appearances in all competitions for club and country, the England international's recent form made Chelsea's stance, that would see them allow Lampard to walk away at the end of the campaign all the more baffling.

However, Lampard has been reluctant to sign a pre-contract agreement with MLS suitors LA Galaxy or other teams in China, in the hope that Chelsea might make a U-turn and offer him the opportunity to prolong his Premier League career.

"Discussions are ongoing and must be kept confidential at this stage," confirmed Gourlay at a press conference at the Renaissance Hotel in Bangkok, where he was formally announcing the details of Chelsea's pre-season tour for the summer.

The chief executive also briefly touched on the club's plans for interim manager Benitez, who is proving an increasingly unpopular choice amongst fans for the Stamford Bridge hot-seat, but denied that he'll be removed before the end of the season.

"It was the club's plan to have Benitez as interim manager with the aim of securing a Champions League position at the end of the Premier League season," he added

"We'll assess the situation then. We can still win the Europa League and the FA Cup, but make no mistake, our priority lies with a Champions League spot."

 

Topics:
Football
Chelsea
Premier League

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