Football

Frank Lampard issues update on Arsenal target Willian ahead of contract expiry


Frank Lampard has confirmed he is keen for Willian to sign a contract extension with Chelsea to keep the Brazil star at Stamford Bridge until at least the end of the suspended season.

Willian’s current deal expires at the end of next month and no terms for an extension have yet been agreed.

Premier League clubs have voted in favour of allowing short-term extensions to keep players whose contracts expire on 30 June until the end of the season.

However, Willian is demanding a two-year extension and negotiations have stalled with Chelsea, who are only willing to table a 12-month rolling deal.

Lampard wants to keep Willian with the Blues until at least the end of the season

Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have both been linked with a move for the winger – but Lampard insists he would like to maintain the same squad heading into ‘Project Restart’.

“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 told Sky Sports.

“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.

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“I would love the squad to look as it has all season, but we’ll have to see how that works.”

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Lampard has already acted to extend the deal of one of his veteran forwards, activating a clause to keep Olivier Giroud, 33, at the club until 2021.

The France striker came close to joining Inter Milan in the January window but is set to stay with the Blues for another year.

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