Lampard and Cole to leave Chelsea next summer, says Benitez

Rafael Benitez believes Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard will leave Chelsea next summer when their contracts at Stamford Bridge expire, the Daily Mail has reported.

Benitez was appointed earlier this week to replace Roberto Di Matteo, who was sacked after Chelsea lost 3-0 to Juventus in the Champions League, putting into doubt their continued progress in the competition they won last season. The former Liverpool manager has signed a short-term deal at Chelsea, but revealed he does not expect the experienced England pair to remain at the club past the end of their current deals.

The Mail adds that Cole has been the subject of interest from Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain, the oil-rich club managed by former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti, as well as Premier League rivals Manchester United. Lampard, meanwhile, is said to be considering a number of offers from interested parties.

Benitez was asked if the era of the players who won titles under Jose Mourinho was coming to an end, and the Spaniard answered in the affirmative, with Cole and Lampard likely to follow Didier Drogba out of the exit door. The Ivory Coast captain left Chelsea in the summer, also after his contract came to an end.

Cole has been at Chelsea since 2006, crossing the capital from Arsenal, while Lampard has spent more than a decade at the club after leaving West Ham United.

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