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Everything posted by chelsea blue
Chelsea face battle to keep Lampard as £5m summer exit clause tempts Barcelona Frank Lampard will return for Chelsea this afternoon in their vital Premier League showdown against dippers with his long-term future at Stamford Bridge in fresh doubt. Leading European clubs are considering exploiting a new FIFA ruling which means the England midfielder can quit Chelsea for just £5 million this summer. And Lampard would be willing to invoke it if his employers do not come up with Chelsea at the moment. Lampard has been given a huge boost by the recent ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which stipulated that players need to pay only the remainder of their contract if they wish to join another club. It means that Lampard can control his exit from Chelsea this summer even if the club do wish to sell him. Barcelona, the club Lampard would most like to join on account of his wife Elen coming from the city, are expected to renew their interest in the England midfielder this summer on the basis of the new ruling. They have previously ruled out making a move for him on the basis that the asking price of £20m was too expensive but would happily pay the reduced fee. Current coach Frank Rijkaard is expected to leave the club in the summer and there is a concerted campaign by some of the board at the club to bring in former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, whose first move would be to sign Lampard. Lampard has already turned down a contract offer from Chelsea and has just one year left on his deal at the end of the season. Kutner has previously insisted that Lampard would like to stay at Chelsea but clearly it will be dependent on the contract on offer. Now, as long as he serves notice by May 26, Lampard can leave the club by paying up the value of the year remaining on his contract. Lampard's best chance of a move to Barcelona would clearly be if Mourinho was appointed. His agent Jorge Mendes spent two days at the club this month, fuelling speculation that a deal would announced shortly. However, given the animosity displayed by Mourinho towards the Catalan club during the infamous Champions League ties with Chelsea in 2006, when Mourinho accused Rijkaard of colluding with referee Anders Frisk, there is still significant opposition to his appointment. Most notably influential former Barca player and manager Johan Cruyff is said to be vehemently against the idea employing the Portuguese.