Chelsea fans will be concerned that three of their stalwart players have contracts expiring in the summer, and with Ashley Cole and frank Lampard no longer able to nail down regular first team berths, their futures are unclear. The Stamford Bridge faithful will however be massively encouraged by news in today’s newspapers that John Terry is set to accept a one-year extension to his contract and stay with the club he has served for sixteen years.
Ashley Cole appears to be the lease likely to stay. Since just before Christmas, his place on the left flank has been usurped by the excellent form of Spaniard Cesar Aspillicueta. Playing the Basque on the opposite flank from his normal position was originally a stop gap to cover for Cole, but such is the outstanding contribution of Aspillicueta to Chelsea’s much-improved defensive record that he is now an automatic starter. With this situation apparent, Cole is unlikely to accept, even if he is offered, a new deal, and rumour is that he intends to ship out to the MSL in America to see out his days as a player.
Of late, Lampard’s adopted position in front of the back four has been denied to him. With the abundance of options there, supplemented by the addition of Nemanja Matic, the midfield record goal-scorer will have a difficult job to get back into regular contention for a starting position. Although Lampard is one of Mourinho’s favourite players, that will not cloud his judgement, and if a new contract is offered, it is likely to be at much reduced terms than his current one. Whether the player will see this as acceptable, or seek to move on – QPR, with his uncle Harry Redknapp in charge is a possibility, as is the MLS – is something that may depend on the circumstances at the time.
Terry however, playing almost every game and in such dominating form, is an entirely different proposition. Such is his level of performance at the moment that there have been calls for him to be taken back into the England fold and the World Cup in Brazil. It’s highly unlikely however that he will accept. His absence from the international scene has been a major factor in his longevity at club level with the reduction in games and travelling.
With Mourinho espousing the chances of is ‘little horse’ to be at the races next season, it seems very much that John Terry will want to be part of the Chelsea ‘stable’ set up.
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