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Lampard plots short-term deals across Blues' panel

 

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Contract talks: Frank Lampard

Contract talks: Frank Lampard

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Contract talks: Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard is determined to convince Chelsea's out-of-contract players to sign short-term extensions in order to see out the delayed Premier League season at Stamford Bridge.

Willian and Olivier Giroud are among the big-name stars whose existing deals expire on June 30, but new rules introduced due to the coronavirus pandemic will allow them to strike mutual deals to complete the campaign.

Premier League clubs are meeting again this week to discuss the next stage of Project Restart, with most Chelsea players expected to return to training by the middle of next week.

Lampard said: "We have big players in that position so that's obviously something I'm looking at very carefully.

"The ones out of contract here have been great servants for the club and actually have a lot of feeling for the club, but of course they will be concerned about themselves in terms of how they are now, and if pre-season is rushed they'll want to make sure they're alright.

"Hopefully we can have that arrangement so they can stay with us because if we play again I would love the squad to look as it's looked all season, but we'll have to see how that works."

Lampard insisted he would take the views of his players into account as he looks to strike the right balance between a rigorous training programme and his players' specific physical and psychological needs.

Lampard added: "It's been a job for us as staff to plan how phase one will look because it will be quite different due to the restrictions on how we can work.

"It's good for the players because they will be wanting to get back training in the right conditions; we know it's difficult circumstances for everyone so it's going to be a challenge to make sure that we get it right."

• Arsenal are taking reports striker Alexandre Lacazette inhaled nitrous oxide from a balloon "seriously" and will deal with the matter internally.

The Frenchman, who has been warned about a similar offence previously, was pictured with a balloon in his mouth and is said to have sent a video to friends, according to reports.

Belfast Telegraph