herald

Thursday 23 November 2017

Lampard leaving rumours 'a joke'

Carlo Ancelotti has branded speculation that Frank Lampard is set to become Jose Mourinho's number one summer transfer target "a joke".

It is widely anticipated Mourinho will quit Inter Milan after next weekend's Champions League final to become the latest coach charged with steering Real Madrid back to the top in Spain.

Chelsea star Lampard has already been linked with a big-money bid should the Portuguese take over at the Bernabeu.

The pair know each other from their time together at Stamford Bridge, where Lampard's influence has been a major factor in Chelsea's first domestic double.

However, having walked into one 'will-he-won't-he' saga over John Terry's proposed move to Manchester City when he arrived 12 months ago, Ancelotti has no intention of being dragged into another.

"This story is a joke," said Ancelotti. "Lampard will stay here. When I started last season there was a problem with John Terry and Manchester City. Every time I said 'no, John Terry will stay here because he is important'. I don't want to do the same with Frank Lampard."

Changes have been predicted by chairman Bruce Buck in the wake of Saturday's 1-0 FA Cup final win over Portsmouth at Wembley. However, unlike last term, when Guus Hiddink gave Roman Abramovich the trophy as a going away present, Ancelotti is going nowhere.

Indeed, so much has the former AC Milan coach enjoyed his first season in west London that he is planning on hanging around for another decade.

"If every season is like this one I would like to stay here for maybe 10 years," he said. "I am ready to sign a new contract. It is better to have stability for the club and also for the manager."

Portugal duo Ricardo Carvalho and Deco seem unlikely to survive, while Joe Cole's contract remains a vexed question.

There will be new arrivals, although the most notable addition will come from the treatment room, where Michael Essien has spent most of his season.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News