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‘Stay For A While’, Lampard Appeals To Out-Of-Contract Players

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Frank Lampard, the Chelsea chief, wishes to persuade out-of-contract players such as William and Oliver Giroud to approve short-term contracts to complete the inconclusive season.

Chelsea has a number of players whose contracts are to be expired at the end of June but they may likely stay for a while as the season is presumed to end by July.

The introduction of the new rules as a result of a COVID-19 pandemic may affect the player’s expired contracts.

Chelsea players are expected to return to training at Cobham by the middle of next week.

“We have big players in that position so that’s obviously something I’m looking at very carefully,” Lampard told the club’s website.

“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.

“So it’s going to have to be something we look at. 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’s squad is potentially on a tight schedule with June 12 still being mooted as a prospective return date, despite a number of top players, including Raheem Sterling and Danny Rose, expressing misgivings.

And Lampard insisted he would take the views of his players into account as he looks to strike the right balance between a rigorous training program with reduced staff levels, and his players’ specific physical and psychological needs.

Lampard added: “It’s been a job for us as staff to planning 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.

“Our job from the coaching side is to make sure we’re careful with the players. The first steps will have to be very careful but all managers will be thinking a similar thing.

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“You can’t just tell them we’re going in this direction because this is something that’s affected everyone and their families.

“Football has been put in its place. Everyone wants to get back playing, we all miss it, but we need to know the players are comfortable.”

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