Saturday 24 March 2018

Benitez drops hint over Cole and Lampard

Frank Lampard could be in his final season at Chelsea
Frank Lampard could be in his final season at Chelsea

New Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez has suggested that the established duo of Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard could leave the club at the end of the season.

Neither of the England internationals have agreed extensions to their contracts with the Champions League winners and their futures have been the subject of some debate.

Asked if he thought the pair would be moving on in the summer, Benitez said: "I think so. I don't have all the information and 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, but I think that's the case at the moment."

If Benitez`s assumption is a correct one it would mark the end of two distinguished Chelsea careers.

Lampard, 34, joined Chelsea from West Ham in 2001 and has gone on to become the club`s third all-time leading goalscorer with 189 goals. He has won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and a perhaps most famously a Champions League with the Blues. He has been linked with a move to the MLS in America.

Cole, 31, is also a title, FA Cup and Champions League winner, having joined the club from Arsenal in 2006.

Meanwhile, Paris St Germain appear to have removed a message from their Twitter account which said Cole was to join the French club next year.

The tweet - which after translation said 'English left back Ashley Cole will become a Red and Blue player this summer' - was quickly removed. It is unclear if the tweet was a blunder by the club or their account was hacked.

A source close to Cole told Press Association Sport that no deal was in place for PSG to sign the Chelsea defender in the summer

Chelsea's policy is to refuse to comment on rumour and speculation.

Press Association

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