x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Stars to stay at Chelsea

Chelsea have parted company with two senior players but there is better news on the futures of Petr Cech and Frank Lampard.

A smiling Petr Cech addresses a press conference ahead of Chelsea's pre-season friendly against Guangzhou Pharmaceutical of China.
A smiling Petr Cech addresses a press conference ahead of Chelsea's pre-season friendly against Guangzhou Pharmaceutical of China.

Luiz Felipe Scolari may be clearing the decks at Chelsea as he stamps his own mark on the side, but it still remains to be seen just who will be left come the start of the season. As Claude Makelele headed out after five years at Stamford Bridge, speculation was rife about who else would join him through the departure gate and who would come in at arrivals.

Makelele, 35, is going back to France with Paris St Germain having been a Premier League success and set the barometer for the defensive midfield anchor man role. Khalid Boulahrouz, the Holland defender, has also agreed terms to sign for Stuttgart. But, crucially, Frank Lampard looks to be staying at least until the end of the season as Chelsea reiterated that the midfielder would not be sold this season.

The Blues are still trying to finalise a new contract for the unsettled player, while Inter Milan's new coach, and his former Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho, admits it may be easier to lure him on a free transfer under the Bosman ruling next summer. Peter Kenyon, the Chelsea chief executive, is determined to keep Lampard and denied they had made a "conspicuous offer" for Kaka, as claimed by his club AC Milan.

But he did confirm that Chelsea were still in talks with Real Madrid striker Robinho. The keeper Petr Cech has signed a new five-year contract and Scolari said Didier Drogba is staying. The Barcelona frontman, Samuel Eto'o, meanwhile, claims Chelsea are interested in him, along with Tottenham and Inter Milan. @Email:akhan@thenational.ae