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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Lampard pledges future to Chelsea

Lampard pledges future to Chelsea

August 13, 2008 23:50 IST

England midfielder Frank Lampard has signed a new five-year contract with Chelsea, the Premier League club said on Wednesday.

The deal means Lampard, 30, remains at Stamford Bridge under new coach Luiz Felipe Scolari following several months of stalled talks and speculation of a move to Inter Milan.

Financial details of the deal were confidential, the club said.

Lampard had been tipped to join former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho at Inter, after the Portuguese coach said the midfielder was the best professional he had worked with in his career.

Lampard's previous contract was due to expire at the end of next season and talks over a new deal with the west London side had been stopping and starting for nearly two years.

Inter president Massimo Moratti said last month Lampard, capped 61 times for England, wanted to join the Italian champions but Chelsea were not willing to negotiate his departure.

"Personally, I'm very happy and I hope I've made the fans happy," Lampard said in an interview on Chelsea TV.

"It's been a difficult summer for many reasons, and that was one of them," Lampard added.

Later at a news conference Lampard said the message his deal sent out was that Chelsea were serious.

"For the past few years we have been challenging for everything. That is one of the reasons I wanted to stay."

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon, sitting alongside Lampard, said: "While we had approaches from Inter Milan we were never going to sell Lampard. Chelsea never sell their best players."

Lampard joined Chelsea in 2001 from West Ham United where his father, also Frank, had played most of his career.

After a couple of slow seasons he became a favourite with the Stamford Bridge crowd under Claudio Ranieri and Mourinho.

Lampard has won two Premier League titles, two League Cups and the FA Cup with the club and was their top scorer in the 2004-5 and 2005-6 seasons.

When Scolari took over as Chelsea coach last month after Avram Grant's brief spell in charge, the former Brazil coach said he wanted Lampard to stay at the club.

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