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Lampard hints at Chelsea exit

14 December 2012, 08:08

Yokohama - Chelsea's veteran midfielder Frank Lampard wants to play on for two or three more years but says this campaign could be his last at Stamford Bridge.

The 34-year-old England international's contract comes to an end this season and talks have yet to take place on a new deal.

"Nothing has been said," the Chelsea vice-captain told reporters after Thursday's 3-1 victory over Mexican side Monterrey in the Club World Cup semi-finals.

"Talks about a one-year extension, a two-year extension, don't exist. The ball is in Chelsea's court," said Lampard.

"Whatever happens I've had a great time with Chelsea - maybe things don't last forever. Although I want it to last forever, you have to be big enough to know what the situation is."

Lampard, who has won everything there is to win in English football and also landed the European Champions League trophy in Munich in May, is desperate to prolong his 11-year stay at Chelsea.

"I'm not the kind of player to just see out my time and sit on the bench. I want to be involved," added Lampard who has just returned to the Chelsea side after a six-week injury layoff.

"That's my character. I will keep trying to do that whatever the circumstances."

Lampard has been linked by the media with a move to David Beckham's former club, Los Angeles Galaxy, and to China where ex-Chelsea team mates Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka now play.

"I can't predict anything," said Chelsea's third highest scorer on 189 goals. "But I feel like I have two or three years at least in me at the top level.

"It's not for me to decide this one, it's up to the club. I am determined to play for a few more years and see what pans out in the near future."

Lampard returned after a calf problem as a substitute in last weekend's 3-1 win at Sunderland.

"I wanted to be here," he said after coming on to replace David Luiz in the second half against Monterrey. "I just wanted to be with the lads and in the competition.

"It's frustrating watching games for any player who ... wants to play especially when the team are not playing so well," said Lampard referring to Chelsea's bad run of form last month. "You want to contribute.

"Myself and (injured captain) John Terry have been sitting in the treatment room desperate to be involved. But with experience we know you have to wait your time.

"I was ready to start tonight. It was the manager's decision," added Lampard who took the captain's armband from goalkeeper Petr Cech after his introduction by interim coach Rafael Benitez.

"People say when you're older you shouldn't play so many games but there is another argument saying if you don't play so many games then you come in and it's more difficult.

"That's why (Manchester United midfielder) Paul Scholes retired at one point. He felt he was sitting on the bench and as he got older he found it more difficult to sit there and be expected to come on and turn it straight on."

After becoming the first holders to exit the Champions League at the group stage, Lampard said Sunday's Club World Cup final against Corinthians of Brazil would take on extra significance.

"This is a final now, a very prestigious competition which the club have never won, which not many English teams have won," he added.

"It is important for us as a club - we have a number of trophies available this year - to make sure we get our first one."

- Reuters


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