Roman Abramovich may make a U-turn over the club’s stance on Frank Lampard’s contract and offer the midfielder a new deal that would see him stay beyond this season, according to the Daily Mail‘s Neil Ashton.
There’s nothing concrete on this as Chelsea’s director of communications responded to rumours by saying that the West London club does not comment on speculation surrounding its players and their contracts, but Ashton believes that talks to keep Lampard at Stamford Bridge are in a preliminary stage and they’re going well as the club are set to renew talks with a concrete offer.
The piece doesn’t say what the terms offered a likely to be but the key factors that everyone would like to know about would be the length of the deal, the wage and his role, as it’s unlikely he will get the guarantees on playing time that he received in the past and he has already said that he’s “not the kind of player to see out my time and sit with my bum on the bench too much”.
Of course the Chelsea fans would love to see Lampard stay at the club as he’s not only a Chelsea legend but a Premier League one to boot and his goal scoring record from the middle of the park is truly unique, but we’ve already seen from Andre Villas-Boas’ time that he’s not keen on being a squad player, would it create tensions for the next manager if he was asked to fulfil that role next season? Assuming he does accept a lesser role, he’d surely have to take some sort of pay cut as £140k-a-week is extortionate for a bench player.
There’s also the issue over where he would play if he was to remain a regular as the 4-2-3-1 formation suits our best players Juan Mata and Eden Hazard but not Lamps, who probably wouldn’t be first choice to play in the pivot if everyone is available and I assume we’ll see a new midfielder or two arrive in the summer. I’ve seen suggestions that Lampard should perhaps play further forward but it didn’t suit him to play at the apex of Carlo Ancelotti’s diamond formation and it wouldn’t make sense to displace Mata, our best player.
For the moment it seems as though Lampard is enjoying his football and he’s in fine goal scoring form for Chelsea at the moment and also scored England’s winner in a 2-1 victory against Brazil last night, and if it does turn out to be his last season at Stamford Bridge he still has Tambling’s goal record to chase and is only five away from equalling the record.
Former Chelsea fullback Graeme Le Saux has given his opinion on the issue and believes that it’s more likely that the player is stalling on a new deal, not the club.
Le Saux told talkSPORT:
“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.
“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.”
“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.”
We’ll wait for more news on this and hopefully the right decision will be made for both the club and the player.