Frank Lampard unlikely to leave Chelsea, says Roberto Di Matteo
Chelsea assistant manager Roberto Di Matteo plays down speculation linking midfielder Frank Lampard with transfer
Roberto Di Matteo has rubbished speculation linking Frank Lampard with a move away from Chelsea, insisting the midfielder is “very important” to the west London club.
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had already dismissed reports suggesting the 33-year-old could switch Stamford Bridge for Old Trafford and Blues assistant manager Di Matteo insisted there was no truth in the stories.
“We are very happy that Frank is in our team because he a fantastic player and he has been a fantastic player season after season for many years for this club, and for his country, so I am not surprised that other managers like him,” Di Matteo told a news conference on Friday.
“[The speculation] is not unsettling for us. He is old enough to be able to deal with these sort of stories and so are we. I don’t know what the future will hold but I can’t see him going anywhere. Frank is part of our plans and he will be very important for us.”
Di Matteo also reserved praise for Gary Cahill and confirmed that negotiations between the player and the club are ongoing after Chelsea agreed a fee, believed to be around £7m, with Bolton Wanderers for the transfer of the England defender.
“He has developed into a top central defender in the Premier League and made the selection for the England team and he is a very good age,” he said.
“He would add very good qualities to our squad. The fee has been agreed and there are ongoing negotiations for the personal terms. There is no big news.”
Chelsea host Portsmouth in the FA Cup third round on Sunday and Di Matteo insists the 2010 winners will field a strong side against the Championship outfit.
“We will play what will be our strongest team, looking at the fitness level of the players,” he continued. “This club has been very successful in the last decade in this competition and we would like to continue this. We are still in three competitions and we aim to go as far as possible and to win these competitions.
“People maybe think the FA Cup is the best chance but we are still in the Champions League, unlike some English teams, and in the Premier League we have a couple more points than at this stage last season, so we look at it from a positive side and we still have everything to play for.
“When you have a cup run it gives everybody confidence and it can lift the supporters, and the FA Cup is a big trophy.”