Belfast Telegraph

Lampard's future not decided: Mourinho

By Matt McGeehan

Frank Lampard may have already played his final match for Chelsea after Jose Mourinho revealed the midfielder is a major doubt for tomorrow's Premier League finale at Cardiff.

Lampard, who is 36 in June, is out of contract at the end of the campaign alongside captain John Terry and Ashley Cole, a trio who have been mainstays at Chelsea for eight years and more.

"Frank Lampard is ill, he is in bed," said Mourinho.

"If he is in bed on Friday, I don't think on Saturday he is coming in a condition to travel or to play."

Lampard is Chelsea's record goalscorer, with 209 goals in 646 appearances since his 2001 move from West Ham.

Asked to reflect on Lampard's distinguished career at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho added: "Maybe in a few years he will have a statue where Peter Osgood is, by his side. He's one of the biggest players (in the history) of this club."

Terry is also doubtful – with "a little thing" picked up on Thursday – but has begun negotiations over a possible new contract and his form this season suggests the Blues would like to keep the captain.

England left-back Cole appears on the verge of an exit after being little more than a peripheral figure this term.

Mourinho, who will provide a report to the Chelsea hierarchy at the end of the campaign, was unable to provide an update on the futures of the trio.

Asked if their Chelsea careers would end at the season's conclusion, Mourinho said: "I don't know, but I don't think so. The club knows my opinion. The players know my opinion too."

Despite finishing the season without silverware – Chelsea's first trophyless campaign since 2010-11 – Mourinho reflected on a "positive" return.

"This is not the kind of season that Chelsea celebrates, because this is Chelsea's nature and my nature," said Mourinho.

"We are not jumping because in such a difficult Premier League we finished third and qualified to the Champions League group phase without play-offs."

Belfast Telegraph

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