Andre Villas-Boas is confident Frank Lampard will still be at Chelsea next season, despite the pair's widely-publicised falling out.
Blues boss Villas-Boas stopped short of promising Lampard would not leave this summer but insisted no-one wanted him to do so. Lampard has admitted for the first time his relationship with Villas-Boas had "not been ideal", although he was keen not to dwell on the problems between them.
Villas-Boas has already warned of a summer clearout should he remain in charge, but asked if he was 100% sure the 33-year-old would be at the club next season, he said: "I hope so. It does not depend on me. It depends on three parts - I want him, the person wants to stay and the club wants him."
Villas-Boas could hardly say anything else about a player who he admitted enjoyed legendary status among the club's fans.
Even before Lampard made three separate bits of history by scoring his 12th goal of the season in Saturday's desperately-needed 3-0 Barclays Premier League win over Bolton, his was the name on the lips of the Stamford Bridge crowd.
"Super Frankie Lampard", they sang about the man who repaid their adulation with the 150th league goal of his career and his 125th in the league for Chelsea - taking him ahead of the legendary Jimmy Greaves.
Perhaps more significantly, the 33-year-old became the first player to reach double figures in the Premier League for nine consecutive seasons.
It was also the fourth time this term Lampard had scored after being dropped by Villas-Boas, who refused to bow to fan pressure to play him. Insisting the crowd sang the midfielder's name "all the time", he said: "I take no instructions from anybody."
He added: "Frank goes on and on breaking the club's records and that is important for him. I congratulate him for that.
"He is a player who has been involved with all managers before and played in most of the games. The only difference this year from the years before is that we have more competition in midfield and things become more difficult for everybody. But Frank is now in the top five of players most used so he is up there with the best."