Chelsea Transfer News: Frank Lampard Reportedly Set to Leave Chelsea

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIJanuary 7, 2013

LONDON , ENGLAND - MAY 29:  Frank Lampard during an England Press Conference at The Grove Hotel on May 29, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Chelsea legend Frank Lampard appears set to leave the club at the end of the season, according to latest reports from the midfielder's management.

The 34-year-old is out of contract at the end of the 2012/13 Premier League season, and earlier in the week, was reportedly set to commence discussions with the European champions about a new deal to keep him at Stamford Bridge (per The Daily Mirror).

Yet according to comments that Lampard's representatives at Steve Kutner Management made, no contract discussions will be taking place between the two parties—a decision and action that the midfielder completely understands and accepts.

Per The Daily Mirror:

Chelsea executives told Frank in Japan during the Club World Cup then again reconfirmed with me after the Everton victory that in no circumstances will he be offered a new contract to stay at the club after the end of this season.

"Nothing since has changed in any respect.

"Frank has had to accept that and just wants to carry on playing football for Chelsea so as to finish the season as successfully as possible for the club that he loves..."

Reports from The Telegraph also confirm the news regarding Lampard's imminent departure, adding that owner Roman Abramovich was most likely involved.

Despite suggestions of recent dialogue between Lampard and the club, it is understood that these discussions were designed purely to appraise him of Chelsea’s stance rather than to offer him any hope of a new deal.

As far as conversations have gone, Abramovich is pressing ahead with his plan to offload Lampard this summer regardless of whether the player accepts any cut in his £150,000 per-week wages.

Fans in the away end chanted “sign him up” from the first whistle to last [against Southampton in the FA Cup] but this has done nothing to persuade Abramovich, who has resolved to dispense with Lampard no matter how many goals he scores in the remainder of the season.

Lampard moved to second on Chelsea's all-time goal-scoring list with a penalty in the Blues' recent 5-1 win over Southampton, and was reportedly reflective in his discussion with the media after the match on what the club means to him.

"This club has been amazing to me," said an emotional Lampard. "The club is the fans, and I can only thank them. They have been with me all the time, and I just wanted to say thank you back".

The England international has been at Stamford Bridge for 12 seasons now—a remarkable achievement—but it does seem that his time at the west London club will be drawing to an end at the end of the current season.

He will have no shortage of opportunities ahead of him, with Chinese football and Major League Soccer both thought to be potential landing spots next year.

From the outside looking in, it does seem strange that the club would not honor one of their greatest servants with another contract—especially for a club that seemingly has no trouble splashing money where it feels it needs it.

Granted, Lampard isn't getting any younger and the likes of John Obi Mikel and Ramires have taken over his role in central midfield, but he is still a goal-scoring threat and strong player, and you would have thought that Chelsea would still want him next year.

Apparently not.  

Chelsea are reportedly closing on a deal for Malaga playmaker Isco, who would no doubt fit in nicely in the Blues' midfield as a possible replacement for Lampard.

Not that what the 34-year-old has achieved at the club will ever be replaced.


Is Frank Lampard going to leave Chelsea at the end of the year?

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