Various Sunday newspapers in the UK have been trawling the story that Frank Lampard will be offered a new deal and that Chelsea and their owner have done a U-turn. Whilst this may sell newspapers and give hope to thousands of Chelsea fans, the sad truth is that he has not been offered a new contract and no new talks have been taking place.

Quite apart from the solid information that I have received from my contacts in the sports media, the facts speak for themselves.

Firstly, why would John Terry risk the ire of his sociopath owner by making such an overt plea for Lampard to be offered a new deal, by placing all sorts of cringe-worthy tributes to him? It is obvious that he hasn’t. Moreover, Chelsea acted swiftly to push Terry into removing any such patronising tosh from the internet in double quick time. They are sensitive to the issue becoming a circus and they do not want any further bad publicity.

Secondly, if they were going to offer Lampard a new deal, why didn’t they do it before the January transfer window opened? Even by Chelsea standards, that would have been spectacularly naive. It is obvious that they have not bothered. You also have to feel for Rafael Benitez in all this fiasco. He was set up in one of his first press conferences to announce that both Lampard and Ashley Cole would be leaving the club. He probably meant in the summer when their contracts expire, but it now seems that Chelsea would prefer that they go now.

What should have been a seamless move from the old guard to the new younger squad, has now devolved into another pantomime. One final death knell for Lampard and Cole is the fact that Abramovich blames them and their player power bloc, along with John Terry, for forcing out Andre Villas Boas when he was manager by making his position untenable. Now it is payback time for Abramovich.

Terry will be next when his contract expires.

773881