Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has responded to suggestions that Jose Mourinho will make Frank Lampard his number transfer target for next season, by insisting that such claims nothing short of “a joke”.
Lampard has enjoyed one of his most productive season, scoring 22 Premier League goals and 27 in all competitions as Chelsea won the Premier League and FA Cup double.
Mourinho, who remains on good terms with Lampard after his time in charge at Stamford Bridge, was linked with a move for the midfielder two years ago when he first took charge at Inter .
The Portuguese coach has been linkde with Real Madrid if, as expected, they fire Manuel Pellegrini after finishing second to Barcelona in the La Liga title race.
But Ancelotti believes this latest story is nothing more than paper talk.
“This story is a joke,” said Ancelotti. “Lampard will stay here. When I started last season there was a problem with John Terry and Manchester City.
“Every time I said ‘no, John Terry will stay here because he is important’. I don’t want to do the same with Frank Lampard. He will stay here.”
And Ancelotti insisted he himself would like to be at Chelsea for years to come.
“If every season is like this one I would like to stay here for maybe 10 years,” he said. “I am ready to sign a new contract. It is better to have stability for the club and also for the manager. It is not easy to change every year.”
Ancelotti suggested that, despite being handed a transfer budget for the summer, he would not be making any drastic changes.
“I don’t know what areas I need to strengthen,” he said. “We have a lot of players injured who will be ready for next season, including Jose Bosingwa and Michael Essien.
“We don’t need a lot of changes but maybe one or two players could arrive.”