Frank Lampard’s hesitant and somewhat veiled admission he will still be a Chelsea player next season has given us the clearest indication yet that Jose Mourinho is coming back to town.
Throughout the last year of his contract, the club’s record goalscorers’ future has been the subject of debate and doubt. Not any more, it would seem.
Clearly, Rafa Benitez has been in no position to say whether the club should offer Lamps a new deal, and Chelsea officials have been reluctant to provide any insight at all.
But, having led Chelsea to Europa League glory as stand-in captain and broken Bobby Tambling’s goalscoring record, the England international suddenly finds himself in a better bargaining position.
The pending return of the Special One, however, is far and away the biggest factor behind Lampard’s extended stay at the Bridge.
You can imagine the conversation, which must have taken place, between Jose and Frank who have always had such a special bond...
Jose: Frank, have they sorted out your new contract yet?
Frank: No, I’m still waiting to hear from them. Rafa’s great, but he can’t influence the situation.
Jose: I understand that, but I can. Don’t worry Frank, once my deal is in place yours will be too.
Frank: Thanks Jose, look forward to seeing you in the summer
What amazes me, throughout the whole scenario, is why a new contract for one of the club’s greatest ever players was ever a subject for debate. It’s a no-brainer.
Another thought occurs to me. Maybe, just maybe, the powers-that-be were keeping Frank hanging on so that he made sure he reached the 203-goal barrier before the end of what might have been his farewell season!
Shrewd psychology or sheer stupidity? Perhaps we will never know but, either way, it seems to have worked out well and everyone is happy at the end of the day. Funny old game, isn’t it?