Chelsea Club Focus – Is Lampard near Blues exit

According to reports, Chelsea have informed Frank Lampard that he is free to move away from Stamford Bridge following a period of frustration at the club since the arrival of manager Andre Villas-Boas. Lampard celebrated 10 years with the Blues in June and has enjoyed life as a first team regular for the majority of his time at Chelsea, but under the new management Lampard has voiced his disappointment at having to endure spells on the substitute’s bench.

However, whilst Chelsea may be happy to let their talismanic midfielder leave, they are not prepared to let him go to a Premier League rival and instead insist he is free to move abroad should he so wish. This has sparked speculation that French outfit Paris Saint Germain would be a potential destination for the England international for a variety of reasons.

Firstly the club have recently appointed former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti to take charge at Parc des Princes and both parties may be tempted with a fond reunion in the French capital. Ancelotti enjoyed success in his first season at Chelsea leading The Blues to the League and FA Cup double in 2010, however in his second full season in charge after failing to win any silverware the Italian was sacked only two hours after the final game of the campaign. Ancelotti is said to have maintain a good relationship with his players and he will seriously consider making Lampard an offer if he is available for a transfer.

Another reason why PSG might be a good fit is that after a takeover by a rich Qatari consortium they are one of few clubs that could afford to match the £150,000 a week wages Lampard is being paid at Stamford Bridge. Former Chelsea and England team mate Joe Cole is one compatriot that plies his trade in France for current league champions Lille, on loan from Liverpool for a season.

With 18 months left to run on his contract Chelsea are prepared to let the 33-year-old run out his deal, but are happy to release him to a non-domestic rival. However assistant manager Roberto Di Matteo told the Metro that he doesn’t see Lampard leaving any time in the near future: “I can’t see him leaving this club. He has been here for 10 years and he’s part of the successful history of this club. We are very happy Frank is in our team. He’s a fantastic player and has been a fantastic player season after season for this club and for his country.” After speculation linking him to Manchester United Di Matteo went onto state he believes this to be natural: “It is not a surprise other managers like him. It is not (unsettling) for us. He’s old enough to deal with these kind of stories and so are we.”

Lampard has tallied 179 goals in over 500 appearances for the Blues and has been one of the most consistent performers not only at the club, but in the Premier League as well. It is unlikely he will move in January as any potential deal will probably take place in the summer, but if an exit from Stamford Bridge were to unfold for Lampard he could hold his head high with his achievements at the club, knowing he will be missed by the supporters who have seen him contribute so much to their team over the past 10 years.

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