Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Lampard considered Chelsea exit

Frank Lampard has signed a new deal at Chelsea

Frank Lampard considered leaving Chelsea this summer but the club's record goalscorer was delighted to be offered a 12-month extension and now hopes to stay at Stamford Bridge beyond the term of his new deal.

The England midfielder has hinted he would be thrilled if former manager Jose Mourinho returns to the Blues to fill the vacancy interim boss Rafael Benitez will leave behind when he departs at the end of the season.

But the only certainty a day on from Chelsea's Europa League triumph against Benfica in Amsterdam was that Lampard, who turns 35 next month, will be spending another year with the west London club. "I think everybody knows how much I wanted to stay here. I'm just very pleased now to look to the future," Lampard said.

There had been doubts over whether Chelsea wanted to keep the player who on Saturday surpassed Bobby Tambling's 43-year-old club goalscoring record tally, netting twice at Aston Villa to take his total Chelsea tally to 203 goals.

Lampard stressed talks had been going on in private for a while, but at one stage he was considering life away from the club he joined from West Ham in 2001.

"From January onwards I was allowed to look at my other options, and it wasn't cut and dried. I don't want to get into all the behind-the-scenes stuff but I was in a position where I was looking at other options and that could have become a reality," Lampard told Sky Sports News.

"But at the same time I wanted to get my head down and try to show here that I could play and contribute and that I was fit enough.

"In January I had been out of the team for two months with an injury, wasn't a regular, so I wanted to have a chance to do that. The talks at the club have been pretty much ongoing for a while now but it wasn't something we wanted to throw out there while important games were going on.

"As you get older you start to think about the time to walk away or when you might be told to walk away actually. But I love it here. I've got a great association with the club and with the fans. I live locally. It is my life here and that's what I didn't want to change.

"I want that to continue for as long as possible. I signed for a year extension; I'd love to be part of the next few years of Chelsea developing. The fresh young players that we've seen come in this year are only going to get better and integrate better into the team. If I can help that happen on the pitch and off the pitch I'd be really happy."

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre