Chelsea deny u-turn on Lampard contract talks
Chelsea have denied reports that they are in discussions with Frank Lampard over a new contract.
Lampard is currently set to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer when his current deal expires.
Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay was, however, today quoted as saying that talks had begun with the 34-year-old midfielder.
Chelsea quickly refuted the reports, adding that any talks with their players "remain confidential".
Chelsea moved to clarify comments made by Gourlay - who did speak to the media in Bangkok as part of an ongoing trip to promote the club's pre-season trip to Asia - on their website this afternoon.
"I am not prepared to discuss this (Lampard's future) at this time," Gourlay said.
"Obviously conversations must remain confidential between the club and the players at all times so that is as much as I can say."
Lampard's exit from Chelsea, after 12 years of service, continues to draw nearer despite calls from the club's fans for him to stay.
The England international's agent Steve Kutner claimed in January that the club had told him, and Lampard, that he would "not be offered a contract under any circumstances".
Despite that Lampard has remained a key part of the Blues' first team this season.
The midfielder has scored 13 goals in all competitions this season, despite playing a more withdrawn role, and is just one away from becoming only the second Chelsea player to score 200 for the club. Lampard is also three goals shy of the club record held by Bobby Tambling.
At present Lampard is free to talk with other clubs about a move, with Major League Soccer side the Los Angeles Galaxy previously linked, although no offers have been made public.