Frank Lampard has admitted his glittering Chelsea career could be drawing to a close after revealing he was not in talks with the club over a new contract.
England midfielder Lampard appeared resigned to his fate after helping the Blues into the Club World Cup final in Yokohama, saying: "Maybe things don't last forever."
The 34-year-old, whose 11 years' service and third place in the club's all-time list of scorers has seen him become a legend there, said: "There have been no talks about anything about an extension."
He added: "The ball is in Chelsea's court. I'm a Chelsea player, as simple as that. I've had a great, great time here. Maybe things don't last forever. Although I want it to last forever, you have to be big enough to know what it is."
Lampard is in the final year of his contract and has been linked with moves to Los Angeles Galaxy, Chinese club Guizhou Rehne and a host of other clubs - even Arsenal. Already short in midfield, Chelsea are unlikely to let him leave in January but he could sign a pre-contract agreement elsewhere.
Lampard added: "I'm not the kind of player to see out my time and sit with my bum on the bench too much. I want to be involved. That's my character. I will keep trying to do that, whatever the circumstances.
"I can't predict anything but I feel like I have two or three years at least in me at the top level. It is not for me to decide on this one. Whatever happens, I have had a great time at Chelsea. I am determined to play a few more years and see what pans out in the near future."
Lampard's revelation will devastate Chelsea fans for whom he is one of their all-time heroes. He was feted as such after coming off the bench in Thursday's Club World Cup semi-final win over Monterrey in Yokohama, travelling supporters displaying a banner which read: 'Lamps, we want you to stay'.
Lampard said: "It was nice support. We could hear they had travelled all the way from London.
"I can't say enough for the Chelsea fans, who have always been amazing for me and the team."