Gianluca Vialli believes Frank Lampard should forget about a new contract at Chelsea.
The England international has been at Stamford Bridge since the summer of 2001, and he has gone on to become one of their greatest ever players. Only Ron Harris and Peter Bonetti have made more appearances than the midfielder, whilst he is just one away from equalling Bobby Tambling’s record of 202 goals for the club.
However, Lampard is out of contract in the summer, and it is uncertain whether he will be offered a new deal. The 34-year-old has made no secret that he wants to extend his stay with the Blues and sign a fresh agreement, which would likely see him see out his career at the club. However, Vialli has advised him to walk away at the end the season.
“In my opinion it’s probably the right time for them to say goodbye to each other and leave on good terms,” he told Sky Sports. “Frank has a fantastic opportunity to try something new, perhaps in America, have fun for the next three or four years and make some money. Then one day he could perhaps come back to Chelsea as a hero.”
These views are unlikely to be welcomed by Chelsea fans, despite coming from one of their former players who would go on to manage them to five trophies. Lampard has just three games – two in the Premier League and a UEFA Europa League final – to score the goal to equal Tambling’s record, or to bag two which would see him overtake.
Meanwhile, the former West Ham United man has spoken of the seemingly constant speculation linking Jose Mourinho with a return to Chelsea. The current Real Madrid coach won two league titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups during his previous spell in the capital, and he is widely believed to be keen for a second spell with the club.
“I think it would be a great thing for the club,” said Lampard. “He is a successful manager and he would be a great thing for any club. I have seen speculation before and a completely different manager walks through the door so you never know on that front. But he is certainly one of the greatest, if not the greatest, manager in world football.”