Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo admitted over the weekend that losing legends Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole is a real possibility, as there is no sign of either agreeing a new deal with the club. The Italian told reporters that he is powerless to intervene in contract negotiations apart from promising both players that they are in his future plans.
When asked if he was worried about losing Lampard and Cole in January, Di Matteo said, "Yeah, but that's the world of football. That's how you live in this world, in this industry.” When pressed about Roman Abramovich’s policy of only offering one-year contracts to players over the age of 30, Di Matteo indicated that he did not agree with it. "You would have to look at it individually, every player, depending on the history and the physical condition of every player," he said.
Lampard, 34, and Cole, 31, are both out of contract at the end of the season, leaving both players free to sign pre-contracts in January. While Lampard is rumored to be on his way to MLS, Cole, still considered to be one of the best left backs in the world, would likely attract a long line of big-name suitors, including Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.
During the interview, Di Matteo also branded the John Terry-Valencia rumors as “nonsense,” insisting there was no chance the Chelsea captain would not see out the remaining two years of his contract.