Lampard closing in on new Chelsea contract

Frank Lampard is understood to have come to terms with Chelsea on a one-year contract extension, the Daily Telegraph has reported, in a move that could also signal the imminent appointment of Jose Mourinho as the club’s new manager.

Lampard’s existing deal is due to expire at the end of the season and he has previously struggled to convince the Chelsea hierarchy to extend his 12-year stay at Stamford Bridge, despite having become the club’s all-time top-scorer in this campaign, surpassing the record of 202 goals set by Bobby Tambling with a brace against Aston Villa on Saturday. The 34-year-old is also expected to captain Chelsea in Wednesday’s Europa League final against Benfica in the absence of John Terry.

Chelsea had insisted Lampard’s future would have to wait until the identity of the club’s next full-time boss was known, with Rafael Benitez in temporary charge since November last year.

The Telegraph claims that the move to sign Lampard to a new deal is a further indication that former Chelsea manager Mourinho is set to return to the club, as Lampard is known to be a favourite of the current Real Madrid Coach – and the feeling is mutual, with Lampard revealing he nearly joined Inter in 2008 after the Italian club approached Mourinho about taking over.

Lampard has also won the backing of the club’s supporters, who the newspaper adds will be appeased by the decision, although Lampard has not been a first team regular in recent weeks and may have to accept such a reduced contribution next year as well. Lampard has also dropped his wage demands in return for a new deal, as well as spurning interest from clubs around the world.

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