Chelsea are looking to replace Frank Lampard with Everton midfielder Maroune Fellaini in January. Lampard meanwhile is being courted by a former Chelsea manager.
Frank Lampard’s fantastic career at Stamford Bridge is seemingly heading towards an end this season. The 34-year-old, who has started in only four Premier League matches so far, will see his contract expire at the end of this season and midfielder has confirmed few days back that Chelsea are yet to offer any contract extension.
“There have been no talks about an extension. The ball is in Chelsea’s court. I’m a Chelsea player as simple as that. I’ve had a great, great time here,” he said, but added: “Maybe things don’t last forever.” – Lampard said.
Interim manager Rafa Benitez has also indicated that Chelsea are unlikely to extend the Englishman’s contract and this could be the beginning of a mass exodus from Stamford Bridge next season. Future of veterans like John Terry and Ashley Cole is also in doubts.
“For sure, he’s (Lampard) a fantastic player, a great professional – there’s no doubt about this.
“Also, when I talk to the people in charge, they are telling me the same, so nobody has any doubt about his condition, his levels, his quality. So the decision could be analysing different things, not just the quality of the player.” – Benitez was quoted in BBC few days back.
Lot of MLS clubs are said to be interested in signing the English international and now French club Monaco have seemingly joined the race. The French 2nd division club is managed by former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri and the Italian wants a reunion with the midfielder, whom he brought from West Ham during his reign at the London club.
The French club is said to be waiting for confirmation from Chelsea about the departure of Lampard. Although Monaco are unlikely to match Lampard’s current wage, which lots of MLS club will be more than happy to pay, the fact that the wage will be tax free might ensure a smoother negotiation.
Meanwhile Chelsea are looking to sign Maroune Fellaini in January and sees the Belgium international as the long-term replacement for Lampard in the midfield.
The Everton midfielder has been in fine form this season scoring eight goals and providing three assists. Maroune Fellaini, who will face a lengthy ban for head butting Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross in his last match, has attracted lot of attentions from Arsenal and Manchester United as well.
Although David Moyes would like to retain his star player, but if any substantial offer arrives in winter, Everton might let go of him. Fellaini for his part has already stated his desire to leave the Mersey side club.
‘I am just starting my fifth season at Everton, this will be one of my last. I have seen everything. In January or at the end of the season I will turn to another club or championship,’ Fellaini was quoted in Het Nieuwsblad back in September.
Chelsea are reportedly preparing a £20million bid for the Belgium international in January. Roman Abramovich is set for another massive spending spree during the winter transfer window with Falcao and Theo Walcott present in his wish list. It was earlier reported that Corinthians midfielder Paulinho was Chelsea’s first choice transfer target for their midfield, but the Brazilian is not interested in a move to London, which has forced them to look elsewhere.
If Fellaini does arrive in winter, London’s hair dresser will have a tough time handling him and Luiz at the same time.