Chelsea striker Didier Drogba is expected to decide his future before the end of the month – but Jose Mourinho is prepared to wait longer for Frank Lampard.
Drogba, 30, has appeared unsettled at the club since the departure of Mourinho, with Barcelona thought to be monitoring his situation, although the possibility of extending his contract at Stamford Bridge has been raised.
Inter Milan, Mourinho’s new club, have also been linked with the Ivory Coast international who scored 15 goals last season in a campaign hit by injuries and which ended with a dismissal in the Champions League final and Manchester United winning on penalties.
Although his departure was tipped, Drogba’s future will be determined in the near future, according to his agent Thierno Seydi.
Seydi told France Football: “Didier has given himself 10 days. If nothing happens he will stay at Chelsea and extend his contract by two years.
“He doesn’t see himself starting training in a few days with Chelsea and then leaving to a new club.”
Lampard’s future has looked as insecure as Drogba’s, as the midfielder has not signed a new contract with Chelsea, with Mourinho ready to take him to Inter.
There have been reports of Adriano being brought in as a makeweight but amid the uncertainty, Lampard has been training in Chelsea’s headquarters.
“The transfer market is open until August 31 and we need a midfielder,” Mourinho said on the opening day of Inter’s pre-season training.
“Lampard is a Chelsea player but I have worked really well with him. I also like Ricardo Quaresma but he is at Porto.”
Lampard’s future has been in the spotlight since contract negotiations started before the start of last season, while Drogba’s commitment to Chelsea was questioned after he claimed that “something is broken” following Mourinho’s departure.
However, Seydi added: “The reality of November is not that of today. At the time Didier was affected by the departure of Jose Mourinho who he was very close to. Today, there is nothing to say that he won’t stay at Chelsea.”
Luiz Felipe Scolari claimed at his official unveiling that Drogba was still “200% in his plans”, and Seydi has offered encouragement that the new Chelsea boss could retain the striker who has led the club’s attack since arriving in 2004.
Scolari has also been linked with Real Madrid’s Robinho to bolster his attack but Ramon Calderon, the Spanish club’s president, values the Brazil international higher than the figure Chelsea have been reported to have bid.
“I think Robinho transfer costs more than €60m”, Calderon said.
Chelsea’s new full-back Jose Bosingwa, who was unveiled in Cobham today, said: “I don’t speak much with Frank because I don’t speak English but I speak in French with Didier and as far as I know they are here and that is good for me and the club.
“Robinho is a world-class player and players like him are very welcome in a club like this as I have been made welcome here.”
Andriy Shevchenko could also be staying at Stamford Bridge after Sampdoria conceded defeat in their bid to sign the Ukraine forward.
General manager Beppe Marotta told Corriere dello Sport: “There is zero possibility of him coming to us.
“If he returns to Italy, it will only be to Milan.”
Meanwhile, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf have linked Chelsea with a move for Tim Krul from Newcastle.