Two winning goals don’t immediately grant you a new contract, even if you’re Frank Lampard. Chelsea seem to be persistent in their position about not offering new contract to a player who has been an integral part of every great achievement they’ve had for the last 12 years, which might push him to the hands of a different club, with Lazio or Inter hoping to lure him to Italy.
It’s been up and down for Lampard over the last couple of seasons. After being an unmovable object, the arrival of Andre Villas-Boas and the revolution he tried to facilitate at the club made Lampard seem a little less useful and needed. On top of that, his ability has really started to decline, while the need to give Juan Mata more time at the wheel pushed Lampard to a position he was less effective in.
Nothing really changed this season, while an injury piled on more woes for the 34 year old. Still, when called upon, he did his best, as Rafa Benitez put him back in the rotation, knowing there’s still much use and ability in the man who has won three league titles, 4 FA Cups and the Champions League with the club. Lampard recently repaid him by scoring two winning goals against Everton.
But still, it’s hard to see him getting a new contract for the kind of money he is used to getting. Unless he asks for a serious reduction in his wages, it doesn’t matter who is calling the shots – Bruce Buck, Roman Abramovich or Rafa Benitez – these are the last few months in Lampard’s career as a Chelsea player.
The offers are coming in. In the MLS they want him now, but it looks like Chelsea aren’t willing to give up on him, or the title race and important pieces that might help them overcome the two Manchester clubs. Signing a pre-contract that will usher a free transfer exit in July is the more likely option.
For now, it looks like Lazio and Inter are the first to make something of the opportunity. According to the Corriere Dello Sport, Lazio are willing to offer a three year contract worth £2 million in total, very far away form the sums Lampard is used to. He won’t be getting a lot more money if his aim is to remain in Europe. Inter are another team that are looking into the matter and should be able to offer a bit more money, but have yet to contact Lampard or his agent.
Lampard began playing for Chelsea in the 2000-2001 season and has since played in 385 Premier League matches for the club, scoring 132 goals, including 6 in 11 this season.