Rafa drops hint over Blues duo
New Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez has suggested that Blues stalwarts Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard could leave the club at the end of the season.
Neither of the England internationals have agreed extensions to their contracts with the Champions League winners and their futures have been the subject of some debate.
And, according to Benitez, who replaced Roberto Di Matteo at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday but does not expect to have a big influence on comings and goings after the season, stories linking them with a move are not far wide of the mark.
Asked if he thought the pair would be moving on in the summer, he said: "I think so. I don't have all the information and it's not fair to tell me I'm only here for seven months and then expect me to have an influence at the club over the next two or three years, but I think that's the case at the moment."
If Benitez's assumption is a correct one it would mark the end of two distinguished Chelsea careers.
Lampard, 34, joined Chelsea from West Ham in 2001 and has gone on to become the club's third all-time leading goalscorer with 189 goals. He has won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and a perhaps most famously a Champions League with the Blues. He has linked with a move to the MLS in America.
Cole, 31, is a also a title, FA Cup and Champions League winner, having joined the club from Arsenal in 2006.