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Lampard wants $270,000 a week for five years
by Joe Addison, July 10th, 2008 7AM
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[TRANSFER TALK] England national team player Frank Lampard is stuck in a tug-of-war between Inter Milan and Chelsea. The 30-year-old midfielder has one year left on his Chelsea contract, but Chelsea rejected a $16 million bid from Inter Milan for Lampard. New boss Jose Mourinho, who left Chelsea by mutual consent in September of last year, is hoping to be reunited with Lampard, whom he once called "the best player in the world."

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck has said that the club has no interest in parting ways with Lampard. "With respect to Inter Milan. The day before yesterday they sent us a letter asking if we would talk to them about Frank Lampard. We responded and said 'No.' Yesterday they sent a letter with a cash offer for Frank Lampard and again we responded. We are not interested."

Reports indicate that Lampard would like to stay with Chelsea. The prolific midfielder had a chance to talk with new boss Luiz Felipe Scolari for the first time earlier this week. The conversation left the Brazilian coach pleased.

"I like him much as a player and as a person and I ask him if he wants to stay at Chelsea, not only for this season but for more time," said Scolari, who also added that he intends to keep Lampard in his role as vice-captain to John Terry. "After 15 minutes, he said to me he wants to stay and play for Chelsea for many years. I think Chelsea needs Lampard. I think Lampard is with us more time than one year."

The uncertainty over Lampard's future lies within his contract demands. Lampard, who has 61 caps and 14 goals with the English national team, wants a five-year contract guaranteeing $270,000 a week. Chelsea is only prepared to offer him that salary for four years. Lampard's agent said the matter remains "completely unresolved."

The Lampard transfer saga is yet another summer challenge for Scolari. The manager, who led Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title, must deal with a first-team squad that has too many players. Scolari told the media, "I have 32 players but now is the time to change the players. They know this because I said this in front of them, '23, 24 or maximum 25 [will] stay with me.'"

Portuguese internationals Deco and Bosingwa, players whom Scolari coached at Euro 2008, have joined the first team, while Steve Sidwell is leaving the club for Aston Villa.

Other players rumored to be following him to the exit are Claudio Pizarro, Florent Malouda, Juliano Belletti, Tal Ben-Haim and Shaun Wright-Phillips.


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