Belfast Telegraph

Frank Lampard keen to return to Chelsea as a player

Frank Lampard says he would love to return to Chelsea as a player, although the former England midfielder plans to spend plenty of time at Stamford Bridge even if he is not offered a deal.

The Blues' all-time leading goalscorer is considering his options after his contract expired with MLS side New York City.

Speaking alongside Blues captain John Terry on Soccer AM, Lampard said: "Myself and John are Chelsea through and through so whatever happens, in some capacity I will be at Chelsea.

"Whether it's with my season ticket, watching them, I don't know yet, I'll have very close contact. Whether I'll have the role (as a player), it's not all in my hands so I can't go any further on that.

"I'm very relaxed about it, which is a nice place to be. If the right thing comes, I'll take it. Obviously Chelsea, I'd love that, but it doesn't work that way always."

Lampard, who scored 211 Chelsea goals during a 13-year spell, left west London in the summer of 2014 and joined Premier League rivals Manchester City on a sixth-month deal.

The 38-year-old then spent two seasons in New York before becoming a free agent last month.

"I feel fit, I'm fresh in the mind," he added. "I understand when you get even past 30, you start to understand things are different.

"What I would say is, if I was to carry on playing, it would have to be perfect. I'm not being snobby and hand-picking what I want to do but perfect for my family, for me and all those things."

Chelsea are currently six points clear at the top of the table following an 11-game winning run which has coincided with a change in formation to 3-4-3 by manager Antonio Conte.

Defender Terry has only played six minutes during that sequence after losing his place following injury but he has been impressed with the team's improved performances.

"The formation changed and the manager kind of had it in mind pre-season so we'd done a lot of work tactically on playing three at the back, et cetera," Terry said.

"We lost the two games, Liverpool at home and then Arsenal away, and the manager's just decided to switch and it's worked. The team's been looking really good, it's been really good to see.

"I think it's taken other teams by surprise a little bit because we've not seen that many formation for so many years in the Premier League."

The Blues will look to continue their fine form during back-to-back home games over the Christmas period, starting with Bournemouth on Boxing Day, followed by Stoke on New Year's Eve.

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