Lampard ‘certain’ to leave

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard is “certain” to leave Stamford Bridge and could move to Serie A, according to his agent.

The 34-year-old’s contract expires in the summer and his representatives do not expect the European champions to offer the England international an extension.

Lampard consequently looks set to have the pick of future employers and he can hold talks with foreign clubs from now as he approaches the end of his Chelsea deal.

His agent, Steve Kutner, said: “At this time, Lampard thinks only of the present. That is Chelsea.

“On the future, the only certain thing is that he’ll change team at the end of the season.

“Frank wants to play in a great team, able to fight for important goals and winning other trophies.”

Lampard, who scored twice in the recent win over Everton, has long been linked with a move to Italy, especially when former boss Jose Mourinho was at Inter Milan.

And Kutner, said when asked about a potential switch to Serie A: “We don’t rule out anything.

“The most important is only the good of the player and the possibility to play again at high levels.”

Asked specifically about the possibility of joining Lazio, Kutner said: “Only the facts will say if it can be the right club.”

Lampard’s current employers hope to be in a position to rest Fernando Torres for tomorrow’s FA Cup third-round tie against Southampton by registering Demba Ba in time to play at St Mary’s.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew says Ba’s move to Stamford Bridge is “done” after the Blues triggered the £7 million release clause in the Senegal striker’s contract.

Ba’s persistent knee problem could complicate transfer negotiations, however, and Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez has refused to speak about the 27-year-old.

However, Benitez has admitted the Blues must give Torres a break after blaming fatigue for Wednesday night’s 1-0 Premier League defeat by QPR. “Fernando is one of the players who needs to rest. Two or three players have been playing too many games in the last weeks and months,” he said.

“Managing that was going well but against QPR it didn’t work. Some of the players couldn’t get to the level we were expecting.”

Goalkeeper Petr Cech is expected to be out for two to three weeks with his groin problem.

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