Benitez admits Chelsea legends 'could leave'

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Football News

New Chelsea interim boss Rafael Benitez has revealed Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole could leave the Stamford Bridge side at the end of the season.

The new Blues manager admitted the Chelsea legends were yet to agree extensions to their current contracts, which expire at the end of the 2012-13 campaign.

And Benitez, who replaced Roberto Di Matteo in the Chelsea hot-seat this week, revealed the pair could leave the European champions in the summer.

Speaking to BBC Sport, and when asked if Lampard and Cole could move on, Benitez said: "I think so. I think that's the case at the moment.

"I don't have all the information, but it's not fair to tell me I'm only here for seven months and then expect me to have an influence at the club over the next two or three years."

Lampard and Cole will be able to sign pre-contract agreements with any other clubs in the New Year if they fail to agree extensions to their Chelsea deals.

Lampard has been with Chelsea since his 2001 move from West Ham, and the England international has become the club's highest scoring midfielder, and one of the highest scorers in the club's history.

In his time at Stamford Bridge, the former-West Ham star has won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, and one Champions League.

A move to the MLS in America appears most likely.

Cole joined Chelsea in August 2006 from Arsenal, and has similarly enjoyed great success at the club. The left-back also has 99 caps for England.

The European champions could have a completely new look squad from the one that won the Champions League in May 2012. Much of the old guard looks to be leaving, with Didier Drogba already departed.

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Ashley Cole
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