Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has revealed that he has concerns over whether he will be able to convince his key players to extend their playing deals, with Arsenal currently being linked with Willian.
The Brazilian forward has been a key player for the Blues since joining in 2013, including this season where he has featured in all-but one of their league outings thus far.
Frank Lampard has now admitted that he has concerns that he may not be able to finish the season with his current squad, with worries over the possible extensions of his soon-to-be out of contract stars.
Willian, Willy Caballero and Pedro are all into the final month of their playing deals with the Blues, who have tallied up a combined 41 league appearances between them already this term, and could well leave the club on June 1 before the current campaign has restarted, and Lampard sounds worried that this could be on the cards.
“It is still uncertain if and when play will get underway. We have big players [out of contract] so that’s something I’m obviously looking at very carefully,” Lampard admitted.
“The ones who are out of contract here have been great servants for the club, and actually have a lot of feeling for the club.
“Of course they’ll be concerned about themselves, in terms of how training is now is and if the pre-season is a rush they’re going to have to make sure they’re alright.
“So it’s going to have to be something we have to look at, hopefully we can make that arrangement can be made so they can stay with us.
“I would love the squad to look as it has all season, but we’ll have to see how that works.”
Rumour has it that Frank wants to keep Willian into next season also, although his club has a policy on not offering long deals to those over 30 years-old, and he is linked with joining up with Tottenham or Arsenal at the end of the season.
He could of course move clubs at the end of contract next month, therefore quitting Chelsea and get paid whilst not being forced to return to action before the new campaign, amidst a number of players revealing concerns over a rushed return to action.
The Bundesliga is set to return today, and may well pave the way for a return to action for the Premier League, but the fact that the government and clubs are keen for Project Restart to get underway, players concerns will need to be addressed before too long.
Will players like Pedro and Willian use their contract situation to avoid playing out the season? Could Arsenal or Tottenham push to sign Willian in June intentionally to hamper the Blues push for the CL spots?