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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 March 2008, 14:03 GMT
Grant confident Lampard will stay
Frank Lampard
Lampard's Chelsea contract expires in May 2009
Chelsea manager Avram Grant is "almost sure" Frank Lampard will still be a Chelsea player next season.

"We plan for next season and I can tell you that Frank will stay at Chelsea. The club wants Frank," said Grant.

Lampard, 29, is out of contract in May 2009 and says he does not want to wait until the summer to agree a new deal.

"If we wait and nothing happens then I have got a year left, which is not a position I want to be in," said the England midfielder.

Newspaper reports suggest Chelsea are lining up a 25m bid for Werder Bremen's Brazilian midfielder Diego, placing Lampard's future in doubt.

606: DEBATE
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But Grant said: "Lampard has scored more than 100 goals and I think he will score 150 for Chelsea, I am sure of that.

"Any player who plays like this is not easy to replace. He is a very important player for the team.

"He can score and he can also defend. The situation with Frank has not changed."

Lampard, who scored four goals in Chelsea's 6-1 demolition of Derby on Wednesday, has been linked with a move to Juventus, who are managed by former Blues boss Claudio Ranieri.

The England international was recently quoted expressing his surprise that more of his compatriots were not playing abroad and suggesting doing so would help them improve.

It has also been suggested that Lampard is waiting to see where Jose Mourinho, who was replaced by Grant at Chelsea, takes his next job in management before deciding on his future.

Under Fifa-adopted European Union law, Lampard has the option to effectively buy out the two remaining year of his contract, with Chelsea entitled to compensation equal to the remainder of his salary.

That would follow a precedent set by the former Hearts defender Andy Webster, who terminated his contract at Tynecastle at the end of the 2006 season.

Lampard, however, said he had no desire to leave Stamford Bridge.

He told London's Evening Standard: "I've made it very clear I want to stay here and I want to know what's going on.

"I've been approached a few times by the club saying they are going to come to me with something and they haven't.

"That means they're saying they will have to wait until the summer and I don't really know what that means. I said at the beginning of the season I didn't want to talk about my contract because I wanted to concentrate on my football.

"Every time I run out for the club I don't think about the contract but when I am at home I would like it to be sorted out.

"It's dragged on this season and that's not ideal for me."



SEE ALSO
Chelsea 6-1 Derby
12 Mar 08 |  Premier League
Mourinho expects Lampard to stay
10 Aug 07 |  Chelsea
Agent plays down transfer fears
30 Jan 07 |  Football
Lampard wants to stay at Chelsea
28 Jun 07 |  Chelsea
Webster case is the 'new Bosman'
09 May 07 |  Heart of Midlothian


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